Breakfast at the Mall
It is early and the stores are still barricaded by locked iron gates. Behind some, Lane Bryant presents headless plus size mannequins waiting. Under other glass, unreal playboy figures wearing miniscule undergarments of Victoria’s Secret, stare in zombie seduction toward the sexy dreams of men locked in teenage fantasies. The Disney store waits to clasp in its deadly embrace the pre-packaged frozen imaginations of luckless children. Everywhere there are special eternal sales, or signs foretelling the flame-out of some American small business vision; although Macy’s, Penny’s, and Best Buy seem everlasting like Intelligent Design. But retail dreams are not available at 8:30 A. M. In the middle of it all, the food court is open and at the tables fastened to the floor, as if thieves in the night might make off with the chrome and plastic for their nefarious purposes, senior citizens group together over coffee and egg McMuffins. Not Chinese at this early hour and their shop is closed. Gray heads, bald heads, hennaed heads and bottle blonde heads nod and bob as pleasantries are created and exchanged. It is the community of the lonely congregating in the church of commerce to partake of the blood and body in a communion for left-over souls.
We think we are what we buy. Clothed in the Gap, accessorized in Old Navy or Macy’s, beliefs from Oprha, Doctor Oz, or Deepak Chopra, politics from Fox, intellect from MTV, C-Span, and Barnes and Noble. Pottery Barn chairs are personality, Ikea tables our psyche, gourmet meals from Stonewall Kitchen reveal something fundamental. Knowledge of the world from the New York Times Style section. Everything else from Amazon.com.