now you’re really living
Shopping can be serious business especially when you go by yourself. You start out completely yourself just looking to drop some birthday cash on boot socks, and suddenly you find yourself wandering through The Gap thinking things like, “That’s just a great everyday piece,” or describing the size of a tote bag, to yourself, as a “Weekender,” a word that you didn’t even know you knew, and part of you is glad that you didn’t spend the last 15 years reading Vogue for nothing, and the other part is horrified that you spent the last 15 years reading Vogue and all you got was this lousy moment.
You’re staring at an oatmeal sweater, and you know that if you just owned that sweater then you could really start living. You’re getting a glimpse of a life that until 5 minutes ago was so far away that you didn’t even know that you wanted it, but now that it’s only $40.00 away you’re pretty sure that you do. Who could say that $40 is too high a price for a life that will, at least from this glimpse (which looks an awful lot like the Gap billboard you’re staring at), be a lot happier and better looking than this one? As soon as you buy this sweater not only will you look like a Gap model, but you’ll become someone who smiles on the treadmill, who loves picnics no matter how windy it is, who doesn’t need to buy new clothes, because you are so thrilled and fulfilled and good-looking that things like oatmeal colored sweaters don’t even figure into your busy life.
This sweater could be, no IS, the catalyst that will increase the reaction speed of your life. But no, it couldn’t be, they’re out of your size in the oatmeal. You look hopefully at the other colors, but see instantly that they could never be the catalyst for this dream. You turn away from the sweater table. Things come back into focus. The late afternoon sun is glinting off a mannequin’s shoulder, and you are suddenly aware that summer has finally come to San Francisco.