(this is a flash of experience):

“black friday”

or “the selling of plague materials”or

“inflated dreams at a discount”

In much I don’t participate: lap dance/voter fraud/home surgical kits/ use of public toilets, etc…the list grows as I grow older and that’s ok, this is what maturity is about:

experience/knowledge/compassion/wisdom/ applying those lessons on more or less a daily basis, and not necessarily in that order.

What counts is managing the neurosis, the insect-fear of loss and wreck, the failing body, unwanted social contact, someone yelling in the bushes, falling in the subway, the seagull drop from tainted skies.

Shopping paralysis is what this is about:  the consumption of goods and materials, dressing the part, shopping the part, dropping cash for lack of credit, qualifying for the consumer echelon and wearing it well, bearing in mind the hustle, flim-flam, look of hurried anticipation on streets where coat, tie and gloves( proper dress) was demanded in golden gate 1950’s past. Look of a civilized well groomed man, clean socks clean underwear. Got to have it, got to buy it, go downtown.

Yes, the internet.

Yes, the shopping mall.

Yes, catalog order.

Yes to all of that, but don’t deny me my dose of poison of a black friday gone to market, debit card in hand an optimistic list (black courduroy shirt, discounted caps and winter wear at a bargain or bust).

There is movement on market street, the vendors hawking their wares, word-up shirtless dye jobs working gymnastics  next to placards proclaiming “the end is near”, full promises of satisfaction and the lions share of rite of hipness, all on sale all at bargain prices all available to me…what do I not need, but can’t live without? Mine is a major brain lock and yet I press on; Claus and Heidi in from Berlin digging euro-dollar advantage and countless oblivious kids, some in designer strollers that look like mini-space ships or colorful crypts on wheels. I’m managing the side-step falling into Gap front door

and enter the feverish scene of mundane hell: “zip-zip” shoppers, nearly invisible clerks, a salesman in Dennis the Menace little-boy tight tan pants rolled to top of ankle and the wrinkled look of seasons past, sweaty christmas music, wack renditions of silent night and electronic versions of vocorder disco pop: Mary J. Blige on the north pole…a whirl of color full of sound and fury, color and fabric, a blur of motion of frantic shoppers, a check-out line that looks like 1930’s Depression relief cues…I do the mental math see this or that ask about the size for an item dodge pirouetting shoppers or edge around the standing -still shopper gone rigid and mute, sensory overload acute.

I’m thinking about age, the treat to see, buzz through and go; a memory of

Hecht Department Store in D.C. youth; a hot dog treat, candy cane, scary Santa, the sound of “no”, and a snow-bound ride home on stifling street cars of holiday desire and winter disease.

Black Friday to you too.