I’m sitting here in the shopping mall listening to piped music. It’s early enough in the day, maybe only nine thirty. I’m sitting here drinking a White Americano staring listlessly at the people walking to and forth getting ready for a day’s shopping despite the fact that it’s not even ten o’clock yet. “Nothing’s going to stop us now,” goes the song in the background. “Nothing’s going to stop us doing what exactly?” I ask myself bleakly. What exactly is it that we’re doing and not going to be stopped from doing? Shopping perhaps? Leading stupid, meaningless lives? Being utter idiots? Having our minds controlled by the advertising agencies? Being the helpless ridiculous tools of our blank-faced sociopathic corporate masters? Please someone help me out here. Do me a favour…
It’s Saturday morning in the shopping mall. Of course the crowd is out early – Saturday is shopping day. We’ve been waiting all week for it after all. We’ve been waiting all week to come out and spend our money. I continue to sip my White Americano, in a somewhat morose fashion. I feel tired and jaded. Very tired and very jaded, come to think of it. My eye-lids are heavy with fatigue but I couldn’t tell you why it is that I feel so tired. I haven’t been doing anything, after all. I’m only just sitting here. I never do much anyway, it occurs to me, and yet I’m always tired. My eyes feel stuck closed with tiredness – as much as I might try I can’t seem to manage to open them properly. I call it ‘Sticky-Eye Syndrome’. It’s a recognized thing. For me it is, anyway.
‘The Story of my Life, Part One’ I wrote down dutifully in my notepad. The Story of my Life Part One, the Story of my Life Part One, the Story of my Life Part One, the Story of my Life Part One the Story of my Life Part One the Story of my Life Part One, the Story of my Life Part One the Story of my Life Part One the Story of my Life Part One, the Story of my Life Part One the Story of my Life Part One the Story of my Life Part One, the Story of my Life Part One the Story of my Life Part One. I was stuck on the title and couldn’t get anywhere with it. This always happens, in my experience – never start with the title because you’ll never get beyond it. You’ll never get past it. Write something and then put a title on it. If you must. I toyed with the idea of getting another coffee. The first one wasn’t doing very much anyway, that was for sure! I’m a creature of habit, it occurred to me. I’m always thinking the same things, saying the same things, writing the same things. I’m stuck in a pattern and that pattern has become unbearable to me. It’s become my hell.
Music is still playing away insidiously in the background. Always the music. Always the rotten old music. Always the same old tracks – what a torture! Why doesn’t anyone else see that it’s a torture, I ask myself? Why are they just carrying on, oblivious, apparently content? Why is no one screaming? That should be the big question, I realize. The big question that is raised by society and the societal life in general. It’s the question that no one ever asks. The forbidden question. No one ever screams and no one ever asks why no one is screaming. The two go together I suppose. It’s all part of the same syndrome.
Even if you were to ask this question no one would know what you were talking about. They’d stare at you as if to say “Are you strange?” Is there something wrong with you? Are you a person with a problem? Is that what’s going on with you, you strange person? “Why aren’t you screaming?” I ask incredulously, practically begging for an answer, but all I get back in return is the deafening sound of silence. Like the song.