Ken Kalfus

Indoor Shopping Malls and Desire 1

In the shops of Alice, you can buy philosopher's stones, golden fleeces, holy grails, concubines of absolute beauty and passion, books that answer the questions posed by wise men and children, and elixirs that deliver eternal life. Each of these items, however, is priced at slightly more than you think it's worth, plus sales tax. After you've left without making a purchase, you feel the difference between what you want to pay and what the goods cost as a little hole burning into the lining of your stomach. You realize that the item is worth more than you thought. You return to the store but find the price has been raised to a figure that is really unreasonable. Annoyed, you again leave empty-handed, reconsider and return, find the price has been raised again, leave once more, and so on, forever.

Indoor Shopping Malls and the Dead 1

In malls from Paramus to Zanzibar, adolescents wash down every promenade, crowd every aisle, besiege every register, and monopolize every video game. A population in pained transition, its records, jeans, toys, and bedroom decor are also in transition, coveted one day and discarded the next. The exception to this state of affairs is Gloria, an indoor shopping mall located in a subterranean fissure. It is patronized exclusively by the dead, who shop without hurrying, who can wait for closeout sales, and who buy goods to last forever.