I recently purchased a car. A Mazda3, to be precise. It's the car that smiles at stuff. I like smiling. It makes people uneasy. After all, why should I be the only one to suffer?
Anyway, it's my first car in six years. Which means, of course, that my world has now drastically expanded beyond the corner market and the Safeway about a mile up the street (the really small one with the produce guy who drools and stares at people's shoes). And, as an added bonus, I can now drive home from the bar at three in the morning, which makes life infinitely more interesting. But more on that another time....
The experience of being a driver again after such a long hiatus has been overwhelming, to say the least. I already have every Trader Joe's in the region programmed into my GPS just so I can quickly get to one from wherever I happen to be (I know I'm crazy. Who said I didn't?). I've scoped out neighborhoods and parks I didn't even know existed (Crack is still in high demand, apparently. Despite the recession. Who knew?) and even found a little co-op that carries Armenian string cheese (the kind with the little black onion seeds) and has giant bulk barrels of stuff like twigs and leaves and rocks and dried organic penis fish. It made me miss California all that much more. But today...today I went to a mall. Yes! A mall! The kind where eye-rolling, smoothie-slurping teenage sitcom prototypes hang out in shorts that wouldn't fit a fucking lemur. The kind that has its own zip code. A massive and anemic simulacrum of the American Dream. One of those theme parks of capitalism where you can find anything from sausage wraps to Maseratis—and get a neck massage while you're waiting.
I had left Smiley in a parking lot the size of Manhattan, making sure he was near some shop that I could find again easily. In this case, the California Pizza Kitchen. I flung the doors open and flew past the poor hostess who had just managed to blurb out a quick greeting before I had already pummeled several customers while bee-lining it to the opposite side of the restaurant and the door that led into the mall (If my driving is anything like my walking, then thank God the Mazda wears a fucking smile!).
Now, mind you I never used to go to the mall, or if I ever did I certainly don't recall enjoying it. Maybe only those times I was stoned (which would have been ALL times)—something I don't do anymore (ahem). Anyway, back in those days it would have only been as an excuse to skip school and drive around aimlessly in Rich Friend's car. We'd inevitably end up at the Pacific View Mall in Ventura and stop for Orange Julius. But that was rare. And it was a different life. I ended up at the mall today for another purpose. One of grave importance. A task that can only be entrusted to a sober, responsible adult like myself: I had to go buy more underwear because I was too lazy to do laundry. And that's exactly what I did. That was my man-plan for the day. Drive to the mall in my happy fucking car and get more underwear so I wouldn't have to wash the dirty ones piling up in the kitchen.
To be more specific, the plan was to go to Old Navy for underwear, because they have the kind I like—the black 2XL briefs that hide urine stains and are just big enough to comfortably ensconce my giant set of nuts (More about those in another post. Fair warning!). The nearest Old Navy just happened to be in this particular mall, so off I went on my little adventure. Well, I did get my underwear, but not before several hours of aimless wandering had passed—a feast of time, which I washed down with an odd emotional cocktail of blissful euphoria and utter panic. One of those moments of panic occurred in Old Navy itself, where I found myself lost in a seemingly never-ending children’s section, totally bewildered, asking everyone unfortunate enough to cross my path, "What are the big people supposed to do? Huh?! What!!!??? Wear BAGS?!" Apparently the big people section was just a few feet away, but how the hell was I supposed to know that?
Needless to say it took a little while to find Old Navy. About four hours, to be exact. Along the way I picked up two espresso cups from Crate and Barrel that I don’t need because I don’t ever drink espresso. I do drink Turkish coffee, but I already have plenty of cups for that. Why did I buy this shit? And how did I even end up in there? I think I was looking for a toilet and ended up spending about half an hour just ogling at their stuff. Like some driveling imbecile who just got released from the institute. All that stuff! Stuff I’ll never need. They had and apple peeler/corer that you have to attach to your counter and that looked more like some dental torture device. And let’s not even talk about the “corn stripper”. Just looking at that thing made my cock hurt.
I finally got out of there, with my espresso cups. I found my underwear a few hours and some scary food court mango chicken later. And what happened when I got home? I opened the package of 2XL briefs and discovered they weren’t briefs at all. BOXER briefs. Striped! Like something Harry Potter would wear. Striped Harry Potter boxer briefs that feel like I’m wearing a fucking loincloth under my pants. Godammit all to hell!