Dirty bits have been excised.
I have a lot of dreams about malls, I think. I don’t really know why, but they’re always these weird pastiches of other malls I’ve been to, like the ones in Texas, the way Miranda Westfield Shoppingtown was back in the 1980s and Darling Harbour.
This time there was an air of closing time about the place. Any minute now, the mall was going to close. A chat with a security guard, advice on how to leave. There weren’t any doors out, though. There was a movie theatre – showing some blockbuster that was spiralling out towards the end of the day, with three boys with white-blonde hair sitting in a row giggling and tittering at me when I asked their help. They agreed to offer some directions after ah, a conversation.
I then had to lead out a tiny pink-haired girl wearing an enormous raincoat – like, it trailed in the ground like a labcoat – who had to run to catch up with me as we walked. This was just to leave the movie theatre – which eventually showed us up at the drinks and concession stand where there were roulette wheels and one-armed bandits.
I had the girl on my shoulders when we made our way to the food court, where people were closing up, trying to get done for the day, so the prices were coming down. Members of one of the churches I attended were serving food, and people I recognised from online were in the food court. As long as we had food, nobody would chase us out, so I kept going to stores that wanted to close, and buying like, a single cup of water and ice. A packet of salt, while I kept chatting with these friends. Any minute now they’d go. A minute more than that. A minute more than that.
At some point the pink-haired little girl was gone, playing somewhere on the kid’s maze-like playground, which probably worked out for the best. Then I noticed a deacon of the church selling things at a donut king like place,where all the stock had to go. One of my friends, a woman, was with me, warning me against going too early, because I could get a lot of jam donuts for very little money, which I was watching very carefully. I remembered watching him slowly pile more and more jam donuts on the tray labelled ‘All this for 99 cents’ while trying to keep up a steady stream of flirting with people at my table. Eventually, he looked about ready to go, and I stood up to go, change in my pocket, to pick up a towering pile of sweet things.
Then the pink haired girl called out, and I realised she was stuck inside the maze. She got more distressed and unhappy as I tried to find an entrance to the maze. So I picked up a chair, and started smashing at the kid’s playset. Bit by bit, I tore it open, moving towards her voice, until she could squirm free again, with various twitter friends standing around behind me, muttering about how gross and violent a solution it was.
I woke up.