I’m stepping outside my door, past the overgrown shrubs with my camera and phone in hand to see what the day has in store. I don’t have plans, just my 50mm lens.
I live in Lynwood, a part of the Greater Seattle Metropolitan Area, too far north of all the action. A quiet suburb with a mall. I miss living in Queen Anne. I was two blocks from one of Seattle’s most iconic overlooks, Kerry Park.
I’m on autopilot, about to step into my car.
Without thinking I’ve found myself at the grocery store I normally shop at. But this isn’t the place. …the mall is down the way if I head further south.
I’ve arrived at the mall. It’s almost all chain stores. That’s alright. There’s a good boba place here, not that I’ll get a drink.
It’s sterile here in Nordstrom.
It wasn’t long ago that I held a sort of respect and confusion when I came here—a manic burning that said, “buy shit, so you can join the club.” That voice isn’t gone. It’s just more sophisticated, and I can’t afford to feed it.
My outfit can’t be bought in a mall. I’m sort of proud of that fact.
After working as a limited energy electrician, I can’t unsee the work we do on ceilings. There’s a lot going on up there. I’ve installed a lot of speakers like this, and I’ve ruined many ceiling tiles in the process.
The sterility of this place is sort of getting to me. I’m hesitant to take pictures of people here for fear of being rude, so instead I’m twiddling my thumbs at the food court wishing I had eaten before I came, and I’m remembering how bad Charley’s Philly Steaks is. They were at every military base I was stationed at. I think the only reason they survive as a franchise is because (1) people don’t know what’s good for them but mostly because (2) they won a government contract to put their restaurants in military bases where food options are limited.
I’m channeling my energy to not eat out. I have thin cut pork chops that I bought on sale at home.
At least the lighting in the food court is good. (soft)
Going to Hot Topic was a serious ordeal for me in high school. I remember leaving the mall one day, sitting in the back of my mother’s car on the drive home, wondering what I needed to wear to be liked. What I needed felt intangible, just out of reach, as if what I wanted wasn’t available for purchase. But I felt like other people were making their styles work.
As a rule, teenagers are insecure, so I’m sure we all felt like we weren’t quite there yet. —wherever there is.
GameStop was always fun though.
Well, I am now banned from Alderwood Mall for 24 hours. Apparently photography is not allowed.