Saturday, May 03, 2008

a friend's milestone birthday tomorrow, coinciding with Erin's mere 19th. we've already done something for Erin, the opposite of belatedly (be-earliedly). but there is a party for our friend. so we made a mall excursion for a present, namely a beach cover up, our friend being quite the swimmer/surfer. 1st off: it was as crowded as at Christmas time. everyone spending their economy boosters? mebbe so. speaking of Christmas, the mall's central area is decorated for Christmas, and has been so for the past 6-8 weeks. a movie is being filmed there. we were there a while back when filming was in process, with security preventing access to portions of the mall and extras being ushered into the scene, just like reg'lar folks. anyway, in search of beach wrap. Sears and its Lands End franchise: nothing suitably colourful. we targeted Chicos as a likely source, but Beth chose to stop in numerous shops along the way. one place was clearly for the young but looked like it might yield some swimwear options. $10 and $15 dresses, which Beth assured me wouldn't last a single washing. and many eager teenage girls. a few years back, if I may travel a tangent, I sorta got interested in an earring. inquired at a jewelry store where I might get my ear pierced. the guy there, suitably crisp and mature, pointed across the way to Claire's. and I'm like whoa!. a buzzing place full of jewelry-like gimcrack made for the teenaged female consumer. with actual teenage females not only consuming the gimcrack, but selling it. I felt out of place but, heigh ho, I was on a mission. a teenaged female doctor of ear-piercing performed the surgery, and now everyone can see that I'm rad. end of tangent. we actually entered Abercrombie and Fitch, the ambiance of which strikes me as grimly soulless. we actually exited A&F, before some young hipster gave us the boot. we tumbled into a place called Ruehl, which was quite an experience. its store design is much like A&F: a thumping beat to pull you in, dark doorway, dark rooms with moody lighting. it was a strange maze of discrete rooms that perhaps would be a wonder if the merchandise attracted me. the place looked like where you meet your cocaine source, or Liza Minelli and Andy Warhol, or some damn grunt. wait, just for a moment, imagine Louis Zukofsky at Studio 57, a big A on his forehead... well, transcendence exists: a large b&w photo of a male model with finger in mouth seemed to make a good representation of the store's, um, thrust. from there we went to Nordstrom. which is brand new to the mall and, for all I know, new to the area. Beth knows Nordstrom from Seattle. it was a wonderland. a vast expanse of store space, with exquisite lighting, shiningly polished floors, and a lovely palate of colours (the clothing displayed). it was the only store where the help helped, a charming business model. I couldn't quite hold my attention to the task at hand but luckily there was a large tv screen feeding videos to any eyes that have strayed from the merchandise. I imagine all videos are made by film school auteurs, who have studied 3 minute narrative larded with phony ass performance histrionics, and got better than B in their film project. hi, this is the state of poetry, by the way. ie, what is the opposite of essence, and how do you make a gang of it sell? Beth found a possible right answer but we reconned other sources, just to be sure. a few indistinct options and such, then we tramped to Chicos. Chicos aims for a more mature clientele. the colours are quite pleasing there, painterly, even. I was a bit outraged because there were 2 chairs there. in one sat a man, patiently bored. in the other, a young--teenaged, maybe--woman. chairs in stores like Chicos are for men to anchor themselves while the shopping experience reshapes time. this young woman was eating a sandwich and talking on the phone. she was using my chair. this is disorder. will the murder of Hillary by Obama or vice versa solve this??? winds blow, spring breaks upon us, and Beth found a just right item. oh, we stopped in J Crew, where slim is the password but at least the primary colours are happy. like I said, Nordstrom was the only place where staff made any connection with 'customer'. do you ever wonder if poetry is a living function, or just the crust of some past condition? do you ever think about packaging, as you read those poems, so many poems?
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