retail culture

IMG_3250A parking lot and two blocks worth of retail place ankered around a Barnes and Nobles book store had replaced the industrial clutter of deserted flat brick buildings and weeds she had known like an internal landscape of suburban dread for all of high school. The place now had the mark of a new era of tidy franchised architecture, the clocks had been reset to zero and were running fast. Fifteen years count-down to decay, or to the day the last book would be printed, whichever came first. There was no emotional reaction to the replacement of her childhood environment with these exchangeable elements of retail culture. The fact that it was nearly impossible to tell whether she was in New Jersey or California actually felt kind of welcome, delaying the realization that she had indeed come back. She pulled into the parking lot next to a brand new looking silver Ford SUV with enough space to accommodate a mini baseball league team but most likely outfitted with only two child safety seats and DVD headrest monitors. It was still raining.


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