This weekend we went for a really nice hike along a snowy trail. All was calm and all was bright as the sun shone down hitting the icicles and glittering snow. We stupidly then headed directly to the mall in search of silicone wedding bands. Please emphasize the word “stupidly” when reading this.
After risking our lives playing a game of Frogger in the parking lot we entered hell. We managed to enter via a department store. We traveled along unmarked paths with no trail markers as there is no real destination in a department store. When the department store did not bear the fruit we searched for we decided to look in a jewelry store within the actual mall. STUPID! We continued to travel along huge mountains of clothes and trash. I lost Darwin once and began to panic a bit when he found me going the opposite direction. I was completely disoriented. We finally emerged and came to the intersection where the department store ends and the mall begins. The mall was a river of people! Various currents going this way and that in an unnatural flow. I looked at Darwin with my “Are you fucking serious face?” and he just looked back before pulling me into the flow.
At first I have to admit it wasn’t that bad. We made our own waves in the river of people traveling in our own bubble of calm. We had just came from the mountains and the sense of peace they bestowed upon me seemed everlasting. We made it to our first jewelry store and were looked at like we were aliens. “Silicone Wedding Bands? No, we don’t carry those.”
We jumped back in the river of people this time moving a little slower and we were more aware of the smell of soft pretzels, perfume, sweat, and poop. A bitter-sweet smell only a place like the mall can produce. I also started to notice the screaming, boggery children, the over perfumed old women whose smell hit you like ton of bricks, the clown faced teenage girls their lipstick so bright, and teenage boys groping their girlfriends. I started to feel a little nauseated. Our second jewelry store proved unsuccessful as well but this time we dealt with a happy employee wearing a Santa Hat who sweetly promised us our goal was insight; we needed to go to the sporting goods store on the other end of the mall. I litterly heard the “Dun,Dun, DUN!” music in the background catching myself even looking up to spot its source. This sweet-faced employee was surely the devil in disguise.
As Darwin promised this would be our last try for the day and feeling confident in finding our non golden rings, we jumped back in the river of people. The river seemed to pick up a thousand more currents as more people entered. We were squeezed onto an escalator where the women behind be was breathing down my neck and the people in front of me coughed and hacked openly. I could see their angry green germs floating around me, laughing with evil grins….I suddenly felt conscious of my odor as I never put deodorant on this morning and the sudden nervousness made my by belly gurgle with a brewing need to fart.
Before any deadly gasses were released, we exploded on to the lower level of the mall barely escaping the green germs entry into my nose and eyeballs. We turned this way and that in the river moving faster and faster. My eye caught the familiar glow of a salt rock and sure enough we were getting ready to pass a store in the mall that was always stocked with friendly people, soothing colors and the smell of NanChampa. We jumped from the river and found a little comfort around the display of salt rocks before diving around the corner into the sporting good store.
The lights were unnaturally bright and made me squint. Although we were in our hiking clothes my pants still splattered with earth, we seemed to stand out like a sore thumb as everyone else was clad in matching work out gear. Unable to find an adult for help in the quest for the symbolic circle of marriage, we resigned to ask to a middle schooler with a name tag for help. “A pause silicone pause wedding pause band?” Yes, isn’t that what I said child or did you forget thinking the bearded man behind me may be Santa? “Yes.” I responded. Thankfully the middle schooler next to her had a similar request before and stated that they did not carry them. The first middle schooler just stared blankly back at us and slightly giggled at our stupidity. I somehow was able to thank them for not helping and while leaving hollered back “The jeweler lies!”. I am not sure if they heard me over the grumbling parents and shrieking children.
As my bubble of serenity was fully broken at this point and the pieces of it being kicked around on the floor by a two-year old with snot running down her face, I could travel no more in this hell. We escaped the madness from the nearest exit and tumbled into the parking lot. We ran across the parking lot and dove under a chain guard rail and spotted the Stallion awaiting our return. We were still ringless but alive.