I ventured inside an old-school mall today, a trek I rarely make, on a mission to exchange an Xmas gift. Of course I head to one end of the ginormous building, thinking I remembered where the store was — which naturally meant the store was on the opposite side of the world. I discovered this on a handy map kiosk, a twin of which I passed merrily by on the way in, because I remembered where the store was. Ahem.
As I backtracked, I reflected on how little time I spend in malls nowadays compared to my teenage years, which mostly coincided with the Reagan years. Having a family, a house, a job, and a life really serve to reduce your mall exposure. ;)
Just then, the mall PA system started playing a Cure song: “Friday, I’m in Love.” Pretty loud, too.
Now, granted that this song came out in 1992 (if I’m not mistaken), but the thought of a mall playing any Cure song actually loosened space-time’s grip on me long enough to allow a brief trip to the 80s and a sudden flashback to where the nearest Licorice Pizza used to be. Not inside the mall, oddly enough, nor right across the street as I initially thought, but across the street from the other mall a few miles down the road.
The Eurythmics came on next, which really didn’t help matters:
Here comes the rain again
Falling on my head like a memory
Falling on my head like a new emotion
The other day, playing around with Google Earth, I zoomed in on the mall I spent so much time in as a teen. Nothing seen from space but a nondescript roof, air conditioning units, and an outline. Could be any mall in America, or any huge building. Kind of like how all the malls in the past begin to blur together. The cool record store will always be right across the street now, even when it didn’t used to be.
My gift exchange made, the wistful feelings surging, I decided the only thing for it was to buy something.
I noticed the B. Dalton’s was having a going out of business sale, which both saddened and excited me. For a song, I picked up the second and third volumes of Neal Stephenson‘s latest behemoth trilogy, Hammered by Elizabeth Bear (also a blogger), and Old Man’s War by John Scalzi. (also also a blogger). These artifacts from the World of the Future (AKA the 21st Century) served to pull me back from the precipice of the past.
Nostalgia is a dangerous game, my friend.