Thursday, December 18, 2008

At the Mall

I am at the mall, and I have lost all interest or memory of why I am there. (I always do this at malls. It takes twenty minutes, and then I am out of my body. I am floating around, watching the other shoppers shop, the sellers sell, the mothers tug their children and large bags, the fathers wander off aimlessly like fish in the air . . . ) Some man hands me a card and puts out his hand for money. It's one of those cards that reads I am deaf. Give me money. Or something like that. I give the man a dollar.

I am suddenly distracted by a young girl. She's maybe twelve or thirteen, and she is trying on a skimpy skirt (the kind hat my dad would say- shows more than your legs), boots, and a clingy shirt. Her mother is appalled by the outfit. The girl is pouting and twirling around in front of a mirror. Her breasts hang loosely out of the top of the blouse. She is blond and red-lipped and angry.

You look like a slut, the mother says angrily.
I look normal, the girl says. That's the trouble with you. You have no clue what normal is.
The mother looks at me, suddenly, as if I might help her.
Is that normal? she asks me, pointing at her daughter. Tell her THAT is not normal. Tell her.
The girl glares at me.
I can't think of what to say. So I give the mother the man's card. I am deaf . . .

5 comments:

Lyle Daggett said...

I broke up laughing at this. I occurred to me that I carry around a "Get Out of Hell Free" card with me -- something I picked up once at a book festival, at the table of the Minnesota Atheists Association. It's made in the style of one of those "Get out of jail" cards in the Monopoly game.

One of those might have worked too...

Nin Andrews said...

You could sell them . . .
like business cards.

greg rappleye said...

Hope you received a dollar in return!

Jesse Waters said...

A knockout of a piece -- much more here than meets the eye. Or ear. Or heart.

Jesse Waters said...
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