Monday, 1 June 2015

My day at the mall

Bob Georgeson, underground car park, 2015, Photograph

Nobody laughs in here. They avoid eye contact at any cost. Shop assistants yawn as they finger their mobile phones. The mall swarms with bodies disembodied. Being tall I peer over their heads. A small woman tries to walk through me. I play chicken, determined not to move to the last moment, then jump sideways to the left. She does the same. I jump the other way. She does the same. Our little dance clearly irritates her.

The young girl says “Can I help you Sir?”. I “smile and say “Don't call me Sir”. She looks taken aback. I say “It reeks of British upper class imperialism and the the subjugation of the workers”. I can see this explanation is not helping. “Don't worry...I'm a surrealist” I shrug, realising as soon as the word has rolled off my tongue I have made a mistake. Any word ending in '√≠st' these days is to be feared. This is not going well...

Perhaps I am a cultural terrorist. My surrealist ancestors advocated going into the street with a gun and firing at random. These days that is so common that it no longer has an impact, and besides I cannot stand sudden loud noises and hysteria, but I do have the perverse thought of planting a bomb in the food court. It wasn't the drumstick through the forehead that got him, it was septicaemia from the secret herbs and spices.

A woman walks towards me pushing a double pram. She looks a bit too old for a mother, a bit too young for a grandmother. She is very protective of her babies. As she passes I look back at the twins. Two identical plastic dolls stare back at me. Nobody is laughing...

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