We like to walk on our breaks at work, and since the Marshall Mall is connected to our building, we often walk in the mall, especially if the weather is iffy and we can’t walk outside.

The mall here is pretty scrawny and mostly empty. As such, it’s got a little personality all its own, and for me, it’s like a scene from “Groundhog Day” every day.  It’s the same world over and over again every time – nothing changes – I just visit it for a few minutes and relive the same scene over and over.  Either every day in there is really the same, or else it’s on an eternal loop and I break into the time warp periodically for a visit.

Loop Evidence #1 – The mall music never changes.  They have the music stuck on repeat, and every day it’s the same song:  Ricochet’s “Daddy’s Money.”

I get inside the door of the mall and it’s:

“Country As A Turnip Green,

She’s got Daddy’s Money,

Momma’s Good Looks,

Look Who’s Lookin’ At Me”

Every day.

Loop Evidence #2 – It’s the same people in the mall every day.

  1. There’s the little old guy with the tiny hand weights! He walks the mall daily for hours on end (or at least The Loop makes it appear that way.)  One day we were walking outside and the tiny hand weights were laying in the parking lot next to a car.  Did the little old guy break out of the time warp?  If so, he wasn’t out for long before they pulled him back in.  I saw him later that day, weights in hand.  His clothes never change either.

“She’s got Daddy’s Money,

Momma’s Good Looks”

…..sorry…..

2.  There’s the little old guy reading the novel! This guy is totally my favorite looper.  He’s a teeny tiny old man who walks the mall so super slowly that he can read a thick paperback novel and walk at the same time.  Don’t get behind him because you’ll never make it back around the mall before break is over.

a. The mystery of novel guy: he never gets beyond about page 50 in his novel. I can’t figure it out.  He’s walking nearly every day but never progresses in his book!  What happens here?  Does he get to page 50 and suddenly get bored with every book and trade it out for another?  Does he get to page 50 and then go home and speed read to the end?  Does The Loop not allow him to progress past a certain point?

b. The second mystery of novel guy: he’s so super old but doesn’t require glasses. Does The Loop stop aging?  One day I was walking fairly close to Novel Guy and a few coworkers of mine were a little ahead of me, between me and Novel Guy.  They were marveling at the fact that he could read that tiny print unaided by glasses.  I hope he heard them because they were truly jealous of his super strength eyesight, hehe.

c. The third mystery of novel guy: how does he not trip all over the place? He’s not even looking where he’s going! And his little old man steps are just little shuffles!  I’m trying to walk like a normal person and I’m running into things all the time in there.

“Country as a Turnip Green….

Look Who’s Looking at ME!….”

(Oh, ooops.)

3. It’s the college students playing Magic: The Gathering at the table in the middle of the mall! Dear college students – those cards you have laying out on the table are the same cards I stare at every day as I go past. I realize you’re holding a discussion about them, but you have to know that your game isn’t changing.

“She’s Got Her Daddy’s Money,

Momma’s Good Looks,

More Laughs Than a Stack of Comic Books,

A Wild Imagination,

A College Education,

Add It All Up It’s A Deadly Combination”

(ahhhh……it invades! it invades the skull!)

4. It’s the girl filling up the tartar sauces at the (one and only) food place in the mall! I have to ask: “Who is eating all this tartar sauce?” There is no one at your counter buying your food, ever! I don’t understand where the sauce comes from or where it goes, but she’s totally committed to getting all those little containers perfectly full.

Loop Evidence #3 – The Mall tries to pretend that it’s not on a Loop.

I walked in there one day and THE MUSIC WAS DIFFERENT.  We switched from Ricochet to Randy Travis’ “Digging Up Bones”

“I’m Digging up Bones, I’m Digging up Bones,

Exhuming Things that’s Better Left Alone,

And I’m Resurrecting Mem’ries of a Love That’s Dead and Gone,

Yeah, Tonight I’m Sitting Alone, Digging up Bones.”

I was so confused at the music change.  I stole furtive glances around to confirm my reality.  Oh look – there’s that roach that’s been dead in the corner for weeks – check!  Over there – the clump of dust on the floor mats that never gets swept – check!  And whew, that handprint on the door – signs of life…or a looper’s escape attempt….okay, we’re good.  Can’t go changing that music on me.  It alters the whole sense of reality.

—–

So, ironically, I might actually be the one who breaks the Loop wide open – I’m about to leave their world.  My last day at Blue Cross Blue Shield will happen next week.  Alas, that’s a whole story for another time, but we’ll eventually get there.  I’ll miss my Loop though.  It’s given me a lot of reason to walk down the mall giggling as I roll my eyes to the only Ricochet song I’ve ever known.  :)

“She’s Got Daddy’s Money,

Momma’s Good Looks,

And Look Who’s Lookin’ at Me”….

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