6/15/2010
Stranded

It's a holiday yesterday. Not surprisingly, there were a lot of people in the malls, me included.

But surprisingly, there were a lot of people in hair salons and barber shops. I went to the mall yesterday to get a hair cut, and hopefully, get a foot spa. I did the former effortlessly. The latter? Not successful: there were just a lot of people.

So I ended up walking around. Imagine walking around the mall in circles for two hours, armed only with your pair of earphones. You can only check out so many books at the bookstore. Or, as it also happens, so many frozen items in the grocery.

I tried to return to the parlor, busy listening to whatever song was playing, when I heard someone call my name. I was taking a shortcut of sorts - through Rustan's instead of through the main corridor - when I realized that, to my right, there was Arlene, who looked oddly professional despite the holiday. Must be the glasses.

"So what are you up to?" she said.

"I'm... trying to make the most of my holiday," I answered.

"No, I mean, what do you do for work?"

"Oh, I write."

"That's good! At least you're doing something you're happy with."

Yeah, right, but one, I'm feeling a little stuck right now, and two, if I was happy with writing then I shouldn't be feeling this way. I mean, I can write - not necessarily for work, but it bleeds out - about what I feel but everybody else will say, "no, you can't be involved, you have to be a fly in the wall or something." So what are you going to do again?

I felt oddly bad when Arlene first called my name. For some reason, I had this urge to hug her, which I did. Like, relatively, or really, tight hug. And then that conversation. But apparently she was waiting for the guy in front of her to finish, and the conversation was cut short, before I could even ask about how she's doing. "I have to go to the ATM," she said. "See you around!"

I just waved her goodbye and walked back to the bookstore, figuring that the salon was still full of people. It was when I returned. I did not get a foot spa. I spent a couple more hours wandering aimlessly, feeling bad.

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