I never dream but today I had a Christmas vision.
I was trapped in a mall, working as a waitress at a sushi restaurant. My manager was an evil, lipsticked supercunt wearing a long down ski parka. She commanded me to obey several orders and take several tables of increasingly large parties. I gamely started on my tasks, but, I wasn’t dressed properly. The manager disappeared, and I realized I had no idea what my sections were. Running form table to table, I couldn’t get the accumulating, sour and stupid looking mall shoppers waters in time. Incomplete parties were being seated and my shoe, a cheap flip-flop, fell off and broke. Now what?
I could see my mom huddled at the door of the mall. My little siblings too. They looked annoyed to be there, but my mom was eagerly trying to hand me something. Some shoes. Thanks, mom. They were completely wrong. I took them anyway and put them on. Better than the flip-flops. Running to the kitchen, the sole busted out of the bottom. I couldn’t wait tables like this. My manager was missing. I had to run to my car and get new sneakers.
I ran out to my car to find a new shoe– any kind of shoe. In my car I found a pair of Nikes. I threw them on. One of the Nikes was tattered, since I’ve never paid for a pair of Nikes in my life, just gotten them for free and worn them until they were destroyed.
I ran back into the mall, through a department store that was vacant yet white and light and clean. I was completely lost, though, running wildly to get back to my tables. I made it out of the abstract department store. Back in the mall I found a Nike strap on. I strapped in over my other Nikes.
Now I was awkwardly running around over a double pair of shoes, frantic to get back to my food court to wait tables. I could only image how many dour faces had accumulated, angry about my horrible service. My manager was going to have a fit. She was aggressively cruel. There would be no explaining that I was only trying to get my appropriate work gear.
Still lost, confused, blank faces looked at me from every white, bright store. The architecture was jagged, angular, and futuristic. I could not find the food court. I was worried. My manager would be so pissed. Everything was peppermint shaded, white and red and silver. Long, impossibly tilted escalators faded down to nowhere, huge candy canes loomed over zombified shoppers. Everyone was wearing pink and white with yellow faces.
I realized I didn’t have an apron. I was getting more and more lost in the mall. Up and down peppermint escalators, blank faces leering at me, white down parkas.
It was a maze I couldn’t escape. Every corner brought a new, plastic, mall environment I didn’t recognize. I didn t know where the food court was, where I could find the horde of angry hungry customers ready to devour sushi and abuse me verbally for being late and making them wait. The anger. I couldn’t handle the apprehensiveness.
Then a breakthrough. I didn’t need this stupid job. I didn’t need that domineering manager’s bullshit. I relaxed and walked through a store filled with white down parkas and accommodating sales people. I would make it to my car on my own time. My manager could go ballistic on her own. I didn’t need this. Any of it. So I walked thru unscathed. And immediately woke up, 7am, Christmas morning.
All images taken at Gallery Tesseract ©suzymae