Posted by: gdevi | November 28, 2015

The inferno of shopping

I have never gone to a Black Friday shopping, ever. Nor will I in the future, insha’allah. In general, I have always intensely disliked shopping. Hell, to me, is an afternoon of shopping. A day of shopping makes me fatigued and existentially depressed. But I had to go to the mall this afternoon to buy the things on my list for the school district’s adopt-a-family drive; it is due on Monday. Drunken drivers and accidents just about sum up christmas shopping, I have to say. 220 and interstate 80 were littered with accidents. Flares, registration plates knocked off, powdered glass, men and women moping around. Then cop cars with flashing lights–I saw 3 accidents and 8 stops today in the 40 minute drive to State College. It was the highest number so far this year. I am glad I got home without getting killed by these sociopaths.  Useless, careless drunk drivers.

I am also glad that my friends, family and I have decided to stop the entire gift giving practice. I am delighted; not to be rude or ungrateful or anything, but I don’t really need or want anything. If anyone buys me anything, I will return it to you. I don’t want anything. The only gift I will be giving from this year onwards, if I am expected to give gifts, to friends and family would be something small that I will make for folks to eat–cookies or cakes or crackers or pies or some sort of something tasty to eat. I don’t want anything ever from anyone for birthday or holidays or anything. I want to minimize and completely do away with the clutter of things in my life. Emptiness, that is what I want. Emptiness.

Looking at the zoo of a mall today, I was reminded of Philip Larkin’s great poem. There is nothing more horrendous, more life-draining, more soul-destroying than a mall and an afternoon of shopping.

Wants

-Philip Larkin

Beyond all this, the wish to be alone
However the sky grows dark with invitation cards
However we follow the printed directions of sex
However the family is photographed under the flagstaff
Beyond all this, the wish to be alone.

Beneath it all, desire of oblivion runs:
Despite the artful tensions of the calendar,
The life insurance, the tabled fertility rites
The costly aversion of the eyes from death—
Beneath it all, desire of oblivion runs.

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