We decided to buy a new shower curtain rod only. We liked our shower curtain. It was mostly red with yellow stripes. Our Christmas gift cards to Target were spent. We don’t go to Wal-Mart; it used to be because of the mid-2k angst about Wal-Mart but now they sell energy-saving light bulbs to all the non-energy saving people, so now we mostly don’t go because of the long lines. And the blinding flourescent lights that I remember circa 2 years ago, when I went to Wal-Mart to use the bathroom on a roadtrip. I always use the bathroom at Wal-Mart on roadtrips. I flush their toilets several times and leave without having bought anything, not even one of their .25 cent sodas. Maybe they don’t have those anymore.
We decide to go to Kmart.
Across the street from Kmart is Wal-Mart. The Wal-Mart is 2-3 years old. They tore down a “dying” mall to build the Wal-Mart. I was disappointed in this. The mall was good because it had crazy neon lines on its walls. It was decorated in the 80s. It had a Mr. Gatti’s Pizza place in it.
We walk towards Kmart. In front of the store, two people are dressed in red. They are talking to someone about Olan Mills. “The studio is inside the store,” they said.
We walk in. Another lady at another table motions to me. “Would you like a rewards card?” I would. I fill out the information. I leave the birthday blank. “Does he have to fill in his birthday?” The lady asks a man behind a counter. Above the man is a sign that reads “Customer Service.” We have to have a birthday, the say. I write down some numbers. I lie about my birthday.
We find the shower curtain rods. We choose one. We walk to the checkout lines. We stop to look at some clothes. There is a long-sleeve shirt in purple and black. Plaid, maybe. There are tight work shirts. We find a long women’s sweater. My wife holds up the long women’s sweater. She says she has one at home. One that is not from Kmart.
We look for a line to check out. There are only two lines. I stand in a line. There is someone in front of me. I think of ways to “save” Kmart. I’m not sure what Kmart should do. I decide they should be “urban-kitsch.” Nothing is, I decide, more urban-kitsch than a disorganized Kmart with cracking dirty concrete and worn-out door sensor pads along abandoned thoroughfares.