Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Don't Go In Alone

   Is there any place that exemplifies the cancerous mentality of our 
country any better than the mega-mall? Forced to spend an hour dawdling 
at this most hated of places, there was no recourse but to give myself 
a goal, a definite objective so as not to be sucked in and brain-fucked 
by incessant conspicuous consumption. In this case, fortunately, I was 
in dire need of half dozen 16 gauge horseshoes to replace metal bits in 
various piercings. And so, fortified with a handful of Double Bubble 
Bubblegum, and hostile attitude, I plunged into the fray. The assault 
on my senses was near to overwhelming. Every step took me deeper into a 
world of sights, sounds, scents, most of which are garish, overly 
cloying, sickening sweet, brain numbing. I was fortunate that crowds 
were minimal, reducing my need to kidney punch, or drop a shoulder and 
body block, and allowing me to widen my stride to hasten to my 
objective. Sadly, my hunt required popping into several shops, all 
geared towards vacuous youth with overwhelming need to follow the 
recent trends, and armed with parental credit cards. Each shop pounded 
with its own cacophony of dance club music, the repetitive, electric 
drumbeat beating against my skull like so many limp fists. Knowing I 
had but one need, I was quickly in and out, avoiding bored, overly 
helpful clerks wanting to be sure I noticed the bulging racks filled 
with overpriced, cheaply made, sweat shop produce. Each individual 
foray increased my feeling of desperation, frustration, aggravation and 
hostility. I could feel homicidal urges beginning to rise within my 
chest, and knew I needed to quicken the pace, find my objective, and 
flee to the fresh open air before my urges combusted into 
uncontrollable rage, or my head exploded, whichever would come first.
     Finally, I see the store I know will be my salvation; Hot Topix, 
the one store that makes me feel even moderately at home. I enter, my 
ears are soothed by the pulse pounding, adrenaline fueled, intricate 
drumming of a classic punk band, drum sticks wielded by a master of the 
Power Beat. I feel tension draining from me as I am surrounded by the 
misfits and wannabe-misfits of society, and am calmed by the smells of 
leather and vinyl. Homicidal urges fall away, my hands unclench as I 
caress skull adorned miniskirts. Of course, I find my objective 
immediately and am quickly assisted by a charming girl, eyes rimmed by 
wide, coal black eyeliner, hair streaked with purple and green. My 
people. Of course, with time to spare, I find myself wandering the 
store, coveting the black corset-like vest ornamented with skulls and 
black leather lacing. I find a sundress, white with black Dio De Muetre 
skeletons, it would be perfect. But, I find myself succumbing to that 
mindless shopping mentality, wishing I had a crisp, new credit card in 
my wallet so I could shop willy-nilly, self medicating myself into 
somnolence, convinced the current economic crises is a mass 
hallucination of the unwashed masses fueled to hysterical level by 
inept, gore seeking reporters hoping to whip the public into a frothing 
frenzy. It is the Tender Trap, lulling me, getting me to drop my 
defenses as I feel the warmth of acceptance and understanding, the 
lassitude of senseless consumerism, but it is still a trap, a cunning, 
diabolical trap. Fortunately, I am not so entranced by the power of 
commercial goods that I cannot pull myself away from the trance 
inducing, addictive vapors of senseless spending. I make my meager 
purchase and flee, feeling as if I dodged a bullet, or at least a 
tranquilizer dart.
      The mall is a dangerous place, fraught with perils beyond 
imagining and inhabited by all-consuming zombies. Beware all who enter. 
And if possible, don’t go in alone.

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