Last night we went Black Friday shopping at midnight. Every year we go to the same outlet mall and walk around for hours, freezing and laughing as we bounce from store to store, the Christmas melodies of Judy Garland and Frank Sinatra crooning us along. Alex’s family met us at the outlet mall, a good hour from our home, and we all walked together, commenting on our finds and giving unsolicited advice on possible purchases.
At about 4 in the morning I was done. I literally couldn’t take one more step and opted instead to sit on a bench outside of Calvin Klein and smoke a cigarette while drinking a fountain Dr. Pepper. I sat on the bench in the vicious cold with an instrumental version of Silent Night playing over my head. Although I was absolutely freezing and exhausted, I was totally at peace. In fact, I couldn’t remember a time in the past few months that my mind had been so free of distraction. I sat for several moments watching the other shoppers laugh and speed along, most commenting on the cold or their purchases, and for a moment, I was not of their world, but just a fixture decorating their journey. I was hidden.
And it was nice. Sometimes I just like to hide.