I sat here… Waiting for a reprieve, an escape, a parole of sorts for the mind numbing sameness of the… Outlet mall.
In pulling up to the complex, I clenched my fists and quickly disconnected my “fight or flee” instincts so that I could quickly locate a place to park my hindparts until this shopping excursion ran its course. Keeping quiet is essential for survival and I want to… Live!
Everyone is lugging something, either in their right, left or in some cases both hands. Strangely enough there is a palpable sense of determination etched onto the face of each person that I see as they make their way to one of the many stores littered throughout the complex.
The only exception is the other men that are corralled in this small place (the sitting area/exile zone) that we are jointly inhabiting. There are 3 men sitting here in concert with me and like me they are all devoid of emotion; strangely enough we are an unspoken brotherhood of sorts as we seem to have accepted our lot.
The passage of time has taught me that expressing my dismay via conventional means (vocal complaining, pouting, attempting to rush the shoppers) is a certain recipe to extend my exile even longer.
So thusly, I sit. Stationary in a surpringly comfortable seat, positioned in the middle of the outlet. Although it is in the middle of December the omnipotence of the Almighty has saw fit to grant me with temperatures hovering in the mid 50’s.
The sun is beaming mightily down on me, making this temporary prison more tenable than could be if it were absent.
As I sit here and ruminate about shopping, gone is the rage and powerlessness that I used to feel as a kid, where my Mother would cart me off to places far away and unknown in her quest to find bargains that had the audacity to make an attempt in eluding her grasp.
Decades later, married and with a family of my own. Perhaps it is wisdom or maybe it is an acceptance of the reality; the futility of a fight that I cannot possibly win.
When dealing with women and shopping malls, you are in their domain and it is best to lean on the wisdom of my Grandmother and to “sit your rump down somewhere.”
Two hours and some change later I am granted parole and rewarded with some fried broccoli as a token of my acquiescence to a power greater than me, but surprisingly the shoppers have procured… Nothing. No bags, no trinkets, no purchases to speak of.
Inside the of pit of my being there is a voice screaming out like Captain Kirk in Star Trek II, when he realized that Khan had marooned him on the planet along taking the Genesis device.
More recently when Spock discovered that Kirk had sacrificed himself for the Enterprise in J.J Abrams retooling of the Star Trek franchise in “Into Darkness”.
But, I’m smarter than that and wisely I chew, quietly and savor my freedom.