Series of Unfortunate Events
The shopping was going dreadfully slow. Stores were too crowded, with rude salespersons, and a false cheery sense of holiday bullshit in the air.
Eddie stepped onto the escalator. “Excuse me?” he heard, and turned around.
“You’re on my coat.” The woman pointed down. She was nearly as tall as Eddie, and wore a floor length coat that reminded Eddie of his grandmother’s velvet curtains. Were they velvet? Something like that.
“Sorry.” He moved his boot leaving a visible imprint: salt and grime and a pattern he hadn’t even noticed was on the bottom of his Frye’s. He turned back around. The businessman next to him scowled. He felt like saying “Screw you, buddy,” but the Alvin & The Chipmunks soundtrack chiming ‘Silver Bells’ caused him to stifle a chuckle.
Macy’s- what a joke, he thought. What’d I come here for anyhow? And then he remembered: he was going to propose. Or, he was supposed to. But now, just the thought of marriage, and all of its loaded expectations, the lack of freedom, and the compromises. It all felt so goddamn heavy.
They reached the 2nd floor: Women’s Lingerie. The woman from the escalator stepped in front of him as he read the floor sign.
“Do you make it a habit?” she said.
He waited for her to finish but she just stood there, hands on her hips. The lingerie mannequin behind her mimicked her stance.
“Huh?” He smiled, repressing another laugh.
“So, you think this is funny?”
Eddie looked around. Run. Run like hell. Get lost in the shopping madness. But it was the ladies lingerie floor.