September 10, 2006
The mall is a place where people go to buy things, that’s all. They don’t go to socialize, anymore than walking with someone else who is buying things. It is cold and heartless, people to don’t stop to help someone else up. No one lends anyone else money. It is simply not that kind of place. The mall does not have a heart.
The long hallway seems like it should just have so much less in it. The entirty of the place seems far to cluttered, and simultaneously too big for the few things that are there. It is the result of poor planning, of someone having less faith in the building they were designing than they should have had. The lighting is bright, keeping the colors very pale, as if to give the building an even bigger, and more expansive look. Sun filters through the thick glass of the sunlight. Kept clean, by diligent workers. It adds a natural glow to the room that would otherwise look shallow and empty. It fills in the same kind of ambience that the fake plants give it. In the corners, and filling in the empty spots, are bunches of far too green, fake plants. It brings nature into place where no one really wants to thinking about nature, there isn’t even a sport goods store. It’s a rouse, it makes it fake. The only way anyone would notice that there were those plants, is if they were suddenly taken away, because then the mall would seem even larger and more intrusive. It all lacks personality, and all the people fade right into that lack of personality.
The people circle their goods like sharks circling prey. The shark-people hold onto their shark-children’s hands. Loud squealing noise pour out of the mouths of the younger when they yank and tug on the shark-adults arms for a particular good they find appealing. The shark-people pull back making a low mumbling noise. It is to very embarrassing for them to be standing here with a small child, so very inconvenient. Some of the people even have small cloth harness’ hooked on to the shark-child, to which they attach a leash. Everything is a bother, everything annoys the shark-people, they are devoid of any kind of caring while they are here attending to their own business. Every couple of feet there is an opening full of treasures. The Shark-people wander around inside them inspecting every piece of prey for the slightest imperfect, the most obvious flaws are noticed and they move on to find the next piece of prey. Shark-people stand selling pieces of whatever-they-sell. No one pauses to talk to each other unless they can shop more with each other. This is not a place where people gather anymore, this is only a place where people buy until they have no more money, and return home so they can probe around for more of the silly little green bills, to come back and buy more. Nothing here is even very practical. Just pretty things that the shark-people want to have to brag to other shark-people.
The place smells sterile, like floors that have been washed hundred of times. The slight lemony, floor cleaner smell that no one really likes lingers in the air. Occasionally a person passes bringing their own scent, one of the only things that set them apart from every other shark person. There is one place that defies the law of the mall smelling boring, and that is the food court. The juice place issues out scents of citrus, almost flowery in the way it fills people. No one emptying that store is frowning. The cheap fast food all smells greasy, like a heart attack just waiting to strike. The oriental place spews out spices, eccentric, and original. Everyone feels warm as they walk past it. Out of all the places in this huge hallway, this is the only part that has any personality. The food court is where the shark-people stop and smile at each other. They sit on the slightly dirty tables, making sure of course to keep their food on their trays, and they pull their prey out of their shopping bags. Secretly they all hope another shark-person will look over and be intensely jealous (few look around). No one wants to admit that they are not the best, but at least here, with all the smells, and the tastes they can let down their guard enough to connect with someone else, or to just take some down time to be human humans, instead of shark-people.
This place is contagious, the moment you enter the large hall with the noises that bundle together in the middle and explode out to everyone, and assault their ears. The people here are fake, if only while in those doors.