Wednesday, September 10, 2008
I walked out of a Walmart yesterday and didn't know what city I was in, really. Like when you wake up after spending the night in a bed out of town - the temporary confusion and burgeoning panic quelled only after a few moments concentration. It's only a slight exaggeration. In fact, I was in Pekin, Il, but I had to remind myself. Actually, it could have been Peoria, maybe it was Springfield.
Whenever I enter a Walmart I always feel like I've left reality. Shelves are almost comically tall - a Tim Burton architectural perversion - isle lengths are impossible marathons, customers are humorless roadblocks. Drifting around in a florescent bulb nocturnal state, the bright lights and white ceiling nearly put me into a consuming sleepwalk. I can't process all the blinding stimulation, so I tune it out.
This was a special Walmart, it had a McDonalds inside. A McDonalds inside a Walmart is like the golden Turducken feast of a banal existence.
I walked out and everything was the same, or maybe different as everything else, or maybe both. This is not an original idea, but it's still true. The people were fat. I mean impossibly fat, as they are everywhere. Have you ever just sat in a car and watched Americans walk into a shopping center? You can go ten in a row without finding someone who doesn't have type 2 diabetes. I'm in the worst shape of my life but I can still fit between my seat and the steering wheel. I walked out, and there was a Radioshack to the right, a little satellite shopping center with a Gamestop farther to the left. It all sat under gray sky that blended in with the never ending parking lots.
This story has no point. I hadn't been flying, I didn't have jet lag. I was tired. I had been in one too many Walmarts, eaten one to many McRibs, and it finally all congealed into one momentary lack of bearing.