Shiny, cold glass. Overpriced, low quality T-shirts. Whiny kids yearning to breathe free from their exasperated parents. More cell phones than a third-world Asian country. That's right, it's the mall. I hop off the bus and let out a little sigh. It beats doing nothing on my computer, but not by much.
The mall is supposed to be a place where the whole family can go and shop for whatever their proverbial hearts desire. Somewhere along the line, this vision was lost.
I grasp the round-bar-metal U-handle of the door and give it a firm pull. The door opens with just the right amount of force, and I step inside. Ah, so many colors and bright lights. Neatly stacked piles of vibrant shirts, pants, and various salespeople trying to look occupied. A cool gust of ionized air hits me in the face and I know that I've arrived. This is Sears. Sears is what the mall should be. It is almost wholesome, and you know that you're not going to regret spending an extra few minutes in the aisles at Sears. I, however, am just passing through. I'm going into the belly of the beast, the main part of the mall.
Fun for the whole family? No, far from it. The mall caters primarily to those between the ages of fourteen and twenty-five, and of that range, women mostly. Abercrombie and Fitch, Old Navy, Hot Topic; their merchandise is all made in the same sweatshops overseas. Tinny techno music makes me walk a little faster as I pass by. Aside from the damage they do abroad, they also make waves domestically. The 40-year-old mothers wear the clothes to be cool, and to relate to their daughters. The daughters wear the clothes because they want to look grown up. Both are frightening sights. The moms don't look so hot, trying to squeeze int...
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...mall is like coming down off of a drug. I was hooked, and I wanted a little more, but I knew that it would be ultimately detrimental to go on a regular basis. After the two weeks ended, I did start to feel guilty about what the fast food and lack of thought were doing to me. But for the present, when you hold the tiny red lightning bolt, you are Zeus, and the french fries and the mall are your kingdom. You pop the last fry, and let out a satisfying belch. You pat your belly, and the grin drops slowly from your face. You mouth the words "Spir-it USA," and you know that you have been duped. You see the mall for what it really is, and the once mighty lightning bolt turns into a pitchfork. I can almost see a tiny, laughing cartoon devil standing on my left shoulder. The pitchfork snaps in half, under the pressure of my thumb. I wipe my mouth, pick up my tray, and leave.
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