Yesterday I got to work to be told by two of my coworkers that they still, 11 days after the super storm, did not have power. In between the storm and now, we've had a winter storm and temperatures have dropped so no power = no heat for them. Each day they come in looking exhausted but putting on a cheerful front. I have put myself in their shoes and have come to suspect that the only thing surrounding my psyche is an eggshelled surface which might already have a few small cracks in it. I would have moved to Easter Island by now.
After work I went to return something at a clothing store and did not realize until after I parked my car that the parking spot had a neatly bundled used diaper right in the center of it. I often encounter objects left behind that make me wonder about what goes on inside the heads of my fellow humans. What would possess someone to leave a dirty diaper in a parking lot that is, actually, surrounded by garbage cans? Not wanting to move my car, I immediately started planning my exit strategy for when I had to leave, in case there were people standing around imagining that it was I who dumped the diaper. I tried to think of "childless" things to do. But none of the things I could come up with could be accomplished in the 30 seconds it would take for me to walk to my car and then leave. Also, I realized I didn't actually care that much. Also, I was distracted by two things upon entering the store.
First, the music. I don't know what exactly it is about clothing stores, I mean I'm positive someone, somewhere did market research and it thus became the norm to blast repetitive pop music for the shoppers. Much like pumping oxygen (or is it laughing gas?) into Las Vegas casinos, it seems to be the thing to do. However, I always, always notice it and every song that plays. It is rarely background music since it is so fucking loud I often want to stuff articles of clothing into my ear to not hear it. Yesterday was no exception. I noticed the lyrics to this one song that I have never heard before and I thought, "oh that's sweet". Turns out it was a song called "Collide" by Leona Lewis. It begins thusly:
I'm in tune with how you feel
Everything 'bout this is real
When you're in unfamiliar places
Count on me through life's changes
Ignoring the fact that places and changes do not in any way rhyme and the lyrics are lazy, it is kind of sweet right? So then the chorus goes thusly:
Crash into me
at full speed
we can collide
we can collide
So of course I had to then write the song off as stupidity. Crash into me at full speed? No, no thanks. Yet another song equating romantic love with something that could cause a disfiguring accident. I'll be there for you always, just make sure you are going full speed when you crash into my face. Why can't I just shop??
The second thing that distracted me involved the fact that the store's inventory was being shifted and as a result everything was in disarray. Not a big deal, normally but this disarray also involved creepy child mannequins hiding within the clothing racks. I do not exaggerate when I was startled THREE times by armless, smiling child mannequins hiding in random places throughout the store. Between, the dirty diaper, the stupid music and the frightening children, all the purchasing desire I had within me was drained. I bought nothing. I went home to nap and sleep it all off and woke up when one of my cats knocked the Collected works of Frank O'Hara off my coffee table. It was a sign. I made myself a kir and read for a little while before going to a fundraiser/wine and cheese tasting at my favorite local wine shop.
That I still had cash in my wallet later in the night was fortunate for these two young men who approached me on the street on my way out. Get your minds out of the gutter, people. They approached me and one of them said "Do you mind if I sing you a song and if you like what you hear you can buy my cd for $3?" Since I don't regularly get a personal concert, I agreed. He sang. Beautifully actually. So of course I bought the cd. I haven't listened to it yet so for all I know it could be the sonic equivalent of a dirty diaper left in a parking lot. I'll let you know if it all works out.