Mall Fly

3 minute read

I'm currently sitting in the Willow Grove Mall, it's 8:30 AM, and I'm waiting for my car to be inspected. Apparently it might take anywhere from a couple hours to all day. All I brought to occupy me is my phone and my Kindle.

So let's talk about malls.

I'm sitting on the third floor, next to the balcony. Pretty much straight drop to the ground. Not the best idea for a guy afraid of heights.

I got my first adult job when I was between cars. It was a pretty dark time in my life, I'll probably talk about it in another post, but the relevant bit is that I took three buses to work. The first dropped me off at the King of Prussia mall, at 7 AM. Long before anything but the Dunkin Donuts was open.

Maybe that instilled a kind of instinct in me. If nothing else, the DD will always be there for me. They'll always have my back.

I guess Starbucks won the battle for the Willow Grove Mall.

I went to that DD in King of Prussia pretty often, though it took a few weeks for it to click that I could actually afford to go there every morning, not just once in a while. My student loan payments hadn't kicked in yet, so other than rent, I didn't have much to pay.

It was a nice spot of a pretty hellish month, until I actually got a car in a comedy of errors that resulted in my first auto loan.

Yet the emptiness of the mall in the morning always stuck with me. The halls dark, lit only by weak lamps that would blaze brighter at 9, when the mall actually opened. Sullen eyed, tired janitors pushing those wide janitorial mops, not really looking anywhere but down. Boarded up shops, all selling some kind of clothing. Doesn't matter where you wore it; if you could wear it, there was a shop for it, and they were all outside my price range.

It's a bit weird passing so many stores in a short span of time, knowing instantly that it either wasn't a men's store, or that it was outside my price range.

(Screw you, Lucky Brand Jeans)

Willow Grove is a lot like KOP was in the morning. Heck of a lot brighter since it's open to the sky. Three stories as opposed to two, though smaller on the whole. Less variation in food, my options for coffee are either Starbucks or the shitty newsstand I'm sitting near. Nothing for breakfast.

Elderly people pass me every so often. Two men just passed, one complaining about someone else's salary. Someone told me elderly people just like walking around malls, gives them something to do. I don't blame them, it's too cold to walk outside, but I can't say a mall is any better. I wouldn't want to be reminded of all the ways I can waste my money.

A woman just sat behind me, and her perfume is annoyingly strong. Might have to go get that coffee soon.

Christmas music is wafting through the speakers, and I forgot to bring headphones. And a phone charger. It's gonna be a long wait for Sears.

Haven't heard 'Santa Claus is Coming to Town,' one of the few Christmas songs I like. God knows it'll start as soon as this current song ends.

I'd kill for a breakfast sandwich right now.

I'm currently going through Sanderson' Way of Kings, and I might actually make some progress in that bloated tome if I'm here long enough.

Am I allowed to throw shade on other fantasy writers on my own blog? Don't want to alienate anyone, but I do have Opinions, especially about Sanderson.

I suppose I've wasted enough time. I'll set this post to queue, but I'll probably write more if and when I get bored.

8:54. I really hope I'm not here all day.