Today I took my walk at a strip mall while I waited for my son at acupuncture. This particular mall is a few long strips in a row. T.J. Maxx, Saladworks, Justice (clothes for girls), Home Decor, Thai Taste, DSW Shoes, Joanne's Hallmark... I went down to one end, around the back, twisting figure 8's through parking lots and alleyways. I walked behind the stores in desolate lots dusted with cut green grass where Mexican men flew by me on their riding mowers. I thought it strange that there were so many islands of beautiful green grass in these lots that seemingly no one but the occasional delivery or lawn care man would see. There was a lone flowering tree in full bloom, pretty enough to be in my front yard, I thought. There was a permanent ladder climbing the back wall to the roof of Burlington Coat Factory and for about 5 seconds I contemplated scaling it. Then I thought of a blog idea: I Do One Crazy Thing A Day And Photograph It. I walked on.
On the sidewalk I walked past one gentleman quite a few times who was leaning up against T.J. Maxx. I wondered if he wondered what I was doing striding past him over and over. I wondered how long he had been standing there and who he was waiting for...and what his wife was buying. Here and there I'd pass a store clerk sitting on a low wall smoking a cig, manipulating a phone which always looked much more complicated than mine. Once when I passed Jenny Craig a husband and wife dressed in business clothes crossed my path. Both were carrying a thermal bag and a blue fabric bag, full of food I assume. That seemed weird, to be going to a diet center for the week's meals. Then I passed a tanning place and peeked in the open front door. Blending in with the dark and dramatic decor of the vestibule a young girl sat behind the desk. Tan, she was very tan.
I had another one of those moments when I think how strange the world's becoming. People getting their "suntans" and their portioned allotments of premade meals at a strip mall. Then I realized I was getting my daily exercise at a strip mall....while my son spent the hour laying on a table with needles in his flesh.