sketchbook: Sunday 11 September 2011

SUN 11 SEP 2011 ca. 1:45 p.m. THE BAY WOMEN’S WEAR

Department store quiet and cavernous as the sun shines outside—thermal-inversion light filtering through far-off glass doors. Subdued, librarylike, mainly the heavy industrial thrum and squeak of the escalators. Then a low-volume sound of a woman’s power vocal performance on the sound system—just audible. The floor is tiled with white linoleum squares, with subdued, camouflage-green hard-wearing carpet under the racks of clothes. Close by me: a small rack of denim shorts, 50% off.

Looking past the big square pillar: the shoe department, more spacious and open, like looking out on a field from the dimness of the forest or a cave—although all fluorescent-lit from rectangular panels set in the dropped ceiling. Tables with curved legs and glass tops hold podiums with women’s shoes, solitary and unpaired. On the far wall: spotlit wooden shelves of shoes looking more like books in a bookstore.

Snatches of muted conversation as shoppers pass by with their children: “Because a promise is a promise,” says a little boy, “you can’t go back.”

The clop and clack of shoes on the tile; the strained squeaking of the escalator handrails, ceaselessly moving. A false, air-conditioned world, weakly and cheaply lit. Out those glass doors: the flash and sparkle of cars rolling by.

Share this post—why not?
Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on Facebook
Facebook
Share on Reddit
Reddit
Email this to someone
email
This entry was posted in prose sketches. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *