Posts Tagged ‘mall’

Mountain Man

12 August 2010

Dear J-

I had the opportunity to head out for dinner with the rest of the guys again, but I eschewed it in favor of a lonely drive up into the mountains.  Those of you who already had the opinion that I’m antisocial will nod your heads knowingly, but it’s not just wanting to be alone:  I spend time with these folks willingly, and ungrudgingly — I’d just planned that route out in my head last night and couldn’t wait to try it out (final verdict was that it was worth doing once:  north on Golden Springs Road, east on Choccolocco, continue north on Alabama 9 through the Talladega National Forest, then loop back using smaller roads — in my case I tried going down Hollingsworth, which was worth it, especially going west on Whites Gap Road).

So I end up at the mall for dinner which is a mistake:  it reminds me too much of the lost summer (2004) spent mostly alone in my room/cell in Ann Arbor, where the only entertainment to be had was cooking the same pasta night after night and walking over to the mall, alone alone alone.  And so it seems that passing up the chance at a night amongst friends has the double effect of compounding the loneliness, right?

There’s nothing quite like eating alone in a mall, I says.  The one thing I’m dead tired of is eating out alone; if you’re at the same hotel with people you know if nothing else then you should hang out a little bit.  It’s nice to have time to yourself, but the room echoes a bit too empty when it’s just your thoughts and voice breaking the silence.

Mike

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Desert Spaces

18 October 2008

Dear J-

As we continue our adventure in Palm Springs (today:  swimming in the pool, complete with faux-rock feature and waterslide), one thing does strike me; there’s quite a few empty storefronts leering like a gap-toothed grin.  You can’t believe for a second that it’s more economical to keep the display spaces open and vacant, but maybe — with the water use and air conditioning costs — it’s so.

We walked past what appeared to be an empty mall, only a few diehards still clinging on to the stores on the periphery.  With the eclectic nature of the tourist business, it must be difficult to hit on a sure-fire recipe for success.  What works one season may not work later; what price points bring in one person repel another.  It feels as though this is almost a town where dreams go to dry up and blow away.  The crazy thing is in how elaborate some of the storefronts are around here; a bank with reflecing pools and fountains; a foyer inlaid with pottery shards spelling out the store’s name.

The economy, the fickle fates making a perfect hash of the best-laid plans and ideas.  We came here with the expectation that the nights would fall in line with all you ever read about the deserts; if we’ve been tempted to long pants at any point, it’s been tempered by the searing heat of the days.  Dreams seem to have a short shelf life in the desert air; dessicated husks tumble like so many windmill blades with the breeze.

Mike