I wasted my day today. I should be working on the house but I don’t care one bit about the house. I should be tuning up my car, but “there’s always tomorrow” to do the 100,000 mile service. I should be putting some things on ebay/craigslist to sell (big stack of records, sideboard, 150 empty CD cases, couches, midi keyboard, old car parts, etc.) but the batteries in my camera died and I lost half of the backup batteries in the divorce.
Well, I guess I did do some things. I started the dishwasher. I put some checks in the bank. I paid the bills. I planned for Monday at school. I played piano for a while. I updated the DemonRally site. I watched Willow. I also went to the mall and bought some skate shoes.
Yes, the mall. I hate the mall. But it was the closest place I could go to get the shoes I wanted. It turns out these shoes I bought are vegan and pretty tough-looking. I’d tell you what they were, but I don’t feel that I should promote consumerism. Particularly after my harrowing experience at the mall. Ewwww (as the kids would say). Let me share some bits of the story with you. They’ve recently remodeled the mall, but it still smells exactly the same. Like a funeral home. Like perfume barely covering the stench of death. Malls are inherently evil. I should know, I worked in one for a while. I make my way to the directory and find the evil corporate chain store I’m looking for in the evil mall. I arrive at the store and manage to not throw up when they welcome me in. I stroll over to the shoes and locate the two pairs I wanted to try. As I browse through the others, a young woman says to me, “Hey are you checking out those kicks?” Internally, I cringe and yell at her “NO, I am looking for a pair of SHOES! How would you like to check out my kicks to your throat?” Outwardly, I say, “Yes, I’d like to try [fancy shoe name #1] and [fancy shoe name #2] in size 9, please.” She scurries to the back room and looks for my shoes. As I continue to see if there are any other vegan skate shoes in the world — or shoes not made by horrible, horrible Nike — the career mall worker behind the counter, who has been singing along with the ridiculous caricature of hardcore metal playing over the PA system, takes a break and yells over to me, “Hey dude, are you checking out the kicks? Is there a pair I can get for you?” (internal reply: “Yes, you can regrow a pair after I shove my Blackspot sneakers into your rectum. From the front.”) “No, the lady went to get me some.” He then proceeds to continue to chat me up (I’m paraphrasing).
Dude: “So, what are your plans for the weekend?”
(me, internally: “Blowing up capitalism and the system that causes you to pretend like you’re my friend so you can sell me a $60 pair of shoes that cost $10 to make. And then punching you in your 26 year old beer gut.”)
Me: “Going skating tomorrow, but my shoes are done.”
Dude: Where do you skate?
Me: Lower Woodland.
Dude: Cool, is that the one up by Greenlake?
Me: Yes, it’s pretty awesome.
Dude: That’s cool.
I’m not sure exactly why, but he insisted on acting cool and dropping swear words every once in a while. After my shoes came back (she brought a pair of the more expensive mid-tops just in case I was interested) and I decided on [fancy shoe name #1], he was more helpful. “Dude, let me tell you, [fancy shoe name #2] are all the shoe you’ll ever need.” Really? But I’m not sure they’re vegan. We looked at some labels and using his 6 years of experience in “the industry” we deduced that the little skin-looking sign meant leather and that [fancy shoe name #2] were, in fact, not made of leather. Whether or not they are constructed with animal glue when they’re made in a sweatshop in China is unknown, but I have a don’t ask don’t tell policy about my vegetarianism. Yeah, I suck. I thought that was obvious when I went to the mall instead of 35th North?
At any rate, I now own a shiny, $80 (including tax) pair of [fancy shoe name #2, the one that I wanted but was certain wasn’t vegan)] shoes that I will start destroying in the morning. As soon as someone not-so-corporate makes a shoe for a similar price that will last me at least six months of twice a week skating and is vegan, I’ll buy them. In the meantime, I’ll take some pleasure in slowly scraping away the outsole until my toe sticks out of several holes. Eventually, they will end up like my old pair. I present them for evidence. Feel free to pour out an adult beverage for my homies, as they go in the trash tomorrow.