I was in a store last night; a big, fluorescently-overlighted, linoleum-floored, American Capitalist monstrosity. They sell food there, though in such a place I can rarely imagine myself being actually fed. The food they sell is dead, don’t you think?
Anyway, I always endeavor to persevere to get what I need fast and get the hell out. To linger or tarry is to endure an assault on the senses. Walking in at night is like stepping into the path of a landing jet: light pollution, tense hurried humans, small squealing humans, cage-like battering rams piled with petroleum-packaged eating disorder, large glass cabinetry exhaling cold air, and muzak falling on it all like fetid rain.
It was the latter which struck me as more than usually harsh and cruel last night. From the tinny overhead speakers was falling Touch of Gray by The Grateful Dead. Not Muscrat Love or Copacabana, but a song by my all time favorite band. The audacity! When the hell did the Dead devolve to elevator music? And when did I?
On my way out of the store, I saw a person standing with his back to me, wearing a shirt that said this in large block letters:
HELLO CAN I HELP YOU FIND SOMETHING?
“Yes! Excuse me, but I need help finding something,” said I. “I have lost my youthful idealism. And my faith in the fundamentally implied covenant of due process, good faith and fair dealing inferred by all of us trying to survive in the western world. … And my Art has been canned for the masses, so I guess I’ve generally lost my edge. Can you help me find those things?”
“I don’t work here,” came the reply. “I’m on my way home from another store.”