In spite of its barely being out of the 30s today I decided after much arguing with myself to take the blog on the road, on the scooter, to the Wyoming Valley Mall where I'm seated in a corner of the sparsely populated food court area thinking back on a time when I was in my teens, this mall was brand new, and would have been thick with people. Malls were all the rage back then in the early 70s and I wonder where all the shoppers have gone who used to flock here in droves. I remember the Zacks, the contemporaries of my grandparents who lived next door to us when I was a kid who'd come here every evening after dinner to "hold court" with their cronies on the benches in center court where the mall's corridors intersect. Long gone now, that whole generation is sorely missed especially when I'm in a place like this that reminds me so much of them.
To be certain I had no idea of what I'd be writing when I arrived here just as long ago as it took me to park the bike (in the first handicap space near the main doors, lucky me) and get a cup of Arby's decaf because they were still brewing a pot of the good stuff and I didn't feel like setting up camp by this table and then having to go back to get my cup of Joe. It's a cozy space here in the corner, but nowhere near as coveted as a table might have been at Panera Bread near the fireplace. I'd have preferred to go there, but I'd been thinking about coming here ever since summer ended and didn't get around to deciding it was time to do it till now.
I have the tiny recently acquired ION camera on the table beside me snapping pictures every 30 seconds in time lapse mode. I don't think the visuals I'll be getting will be the slightest bit remarkable, but we'll see. If nothing else I'll have another "slice of life" series that I'll probably look at and then delete because of their insignificance, but maybe one or two shots will turn out to be shareable here. Speaking of "slice of life" that's what this entire post is seeming to become even as it leaves my fingertips, passes through the keyboard, and onto the tablet's screen. I kind of enjoy these types of posts when others do them, but I'm not sure if I like them much when I'm the author of them myself.
Since I've been doing my cardio rehab walks here at the mall on the more biting of the days that winter has served up so far this season I can't help but wonder what did the malls in. They were, as I noted somewhere at the top of this post, THE places to shop close to 40 years ago - THE places for my friends and me to hang out at on Friday evenings when we walked around in small groups taking in all the pretty girls who went to the other schools in the valley and wishing we had the courage to talk to any of them on occasion. Is it the Walmarts that have killed off the malls as they did to so many small town pharmacies and sundry shops? I don't know, but the romantic in me who anthropomorphizes way too many things feels a pang of sympathy for the certain lonliness the malls would feel now had they human sentience and emotions, and the ability to remember their heydays.
It appears to be quantity over quality today as my fingers keep dancing on these keys and making words that are barely registering in my own brain as they're coming out of me and flowing onto the little screen. Funny how back when a Friday evening here was something I'd have looked forward to all week and then savored as it was happening, I'd never have even envisioned that there would come a time when the technology would exist that's allowing me to sit here, untethered from "live" electricity, typing on a keyboard that's not physically connected to the device upon which my words keep appearing one after another in that string of thread bare thought that's coming out of me and on which there's a little arrow that moves in response to my movings of another "loose" piece of plastic here on the table beside me. Add to that that there's a telephone in the pouch hanging from my Batman style utility belt that isn't connected to any wall and on which I can look up any kind of information in the world that I might want to know anything about at any time, and on the other side of my belt a camera that doesn't use film but takes stunning pictures, and it would have done all but make my adolescent brain explode back when these things would have been absolutely inconceivable except to the trekkies like my friend, Pat, who thought about what gadgets the future might be capable of producing.
I'm not much looking forward to the ride back to the house even though it’s only about a two mile trek. It's COLD out there and the wind is nearly enough to make the eyes water on the bike which is never a pleasant experience. Some part of me, though, will relish the fairly certain knowledge that somebody or more than a single somebody might think, Look at that idiot out riding on a day like this! I like to be the oddball as long as it's of my own choosing to be that guy who somebody might be chuckling about, but not so much so when there's an element of likely chagrin that isn't necessarily because of my personal preference. Nevertheless, it feels like it's about time to close up shop and move my ass along. It's getting to be the part of the day when I need to start on supper and steel myself for the cold and dark that will be with us each evening for the next five weeks or so till daylight saving time kicks in again. I chuckle at how it was so important to me to get the motorcycle endorsement on my driver's license so I could ride legally here in Pennsylvania after dark, knowing that I can count without going beyond the fingers on two hands the number of times I've actually done so.
Okay. That's it. Time to mosey along hoping that maybe the little camera caught something worth pasting between some of the paragraphs here to decorate this post up a little...
It should be noted that the title of this post, "Up the Mall" comes from the same Wyoming Valley dialect that gave me the title of the blog itself, "Scootin' Da Valley." Nobody around here goes to the mall; they all go "up da mall."