Pistolburg/Drunkenhelm (the Pistolburg half)
Another super-long blog that, in hindsight, really should’ve been split in two. Luckily for you, now it is!
Nice girl who works at Sanrio: “Excuse me, do you work here?”
NGWWS: “Do you work here in the mall?”
NGWWS: “Oh, I just thought. ’Cuz I always see you here.”
It’s true, I’ve once again joined the ranks of mall rats. I’ve been outed by a girl wearing those ghastly Ug boots. (Though really, are there any other kind besides “ghastly?”)
I love the mall for one reason. It’s a reason I’ve told tons of people. The mall is, when you break it down, nothing but a giant, air-conditioned track. Usually in a vaguely circular or oblique shape; one can continuously walk around it forever. Or at least until you collapse from exhaustion or pretzel starvation. You enjoy all these comforts (and pretzels!) while protected from the elements.
Some, George Romero being chief amongst them, have felt that the people inside the mall are mindless. Romero went so far as to create a zombie movie about them (or us). The classic Dawn of the Dead (psst…the original one. I don’t even know what the remake was about.) Such thinking obviously does not take the mall’s closed, protective environment into considerateion.
For me this environment fosters thought. Walking around you end up seeing essentially the same scene replayed over and over again. With just enough variation provided in each reiteration to ward off the ever-present feelings of boredom from the repetition. The scenes change just enough to keep you interested; while remaining dull enough to not demand too much attention outright.
Add onto this the aural cushioning that headphones provide and you have one make-shift but widely potent isolation chamber. (I’ve been hopelessly obsessed with isolation chambers ever since watching Altered States one fateful night.) There at the mall I have nothing to do but notice and then fixate over small details. Endlessly write and rewrite these blog drafts until the word sequences are just right. Figure out where to add digressive flashbacks and when not to. I can think about what was said, and what that says about me.
“Damn, Tim, you always smell like the beach.”
This comment immediately put me on edge. I don’t like talking about myself (but I love writing about myself!) when it’s not on my terms. Frankly, I just don’t know how to respond to compliments (if that was a compliment). They always seem to set me on edge; I can’t believe them. Sometimes when I leave the house I’ll throw myself for a loop by remembering that everyone I meet is not necessarily trying to get me.
This troubles me.
I’ve found that I would rather defend myself instead of relating to others.
This seems to happen the most when I’m on campus. Perhaps it is a throwback to the four plus years I spent fighting with frat boys when I was in college. Probably not since I had these problems well before I made it to college. I just managed to successfully cordon them off at school.
Yet another personal aspect I’m trying to work on.