the night i got three gifts for free at the mall

the night i got

I drove to the closest place I could think of to kill the hour-and-a-half I was left with. The schmancy mall where the posh congregate to shop for designer shoes, stroll their thousand dollar strollers along wide avenues, where staff look like they have other staff who do their hair and makeup, and where the crystal chandeliers dangle from the ceiling all year round and are not the seasonal decor. My clear lip-balmed lips and salt-stained boots felt slightly hobo-ish upon entry, trying to figure out why I chose to go here (beyond the free parking). My budget is skin-tight these days, so I wasn't interested in window shopping for all the things I can't afford, and truthfully don't really crave right now anyway. So I wandered (read: got lost), picked up a snack and set out to finish the book I'm tackling right now on one of the pretty benches. I passed two women inspecting the lampshades they just picked up from Restoration Hardware, a lady getting bread advice for her dinner party tonight, and two young ladies speeding by and into David's Shoes, their conversation coming into earshot: "It's my birthday so *uck you." And somehow, in the midst of all this, I received some sweet, sweet gifts. A toddler's laughter barrelled endlessly, so entertained by their sibling's haphazard stroller driving. And then another, tugged forward by her mother and donning a tiny bubble jacket that was surely more expensive than mine, looked into my eyes with innocence and curiosity, especially when I waved. Then a simply-done woman with eyes a shade of blue I'd never seen before asked me for the time, complimented me on my little oil' ten-karat gold wedding ring and wished me a good evening.

With time almost up, I'm still sitting here, where I might have felt out of place or resourceless, yet I feel as if I am exactly where I was supposed to be, to enjoy things that are free and simple and sustenance for my weary Thursday night heart.