02 March 2016

The Joys of Reading on Mall Sofas

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loubie | bougie | cutesy
In the lull between waiting and actually doing something, I'll often find myself stuck in a liminal space, whether a cafe or, today for the first time, a mall. Malls never meant much to me—something unsavory and stuffy about them tires me. But, today, I was stuck with an hour to kill before I went out. Options: stay home and stare at a screen (I can't read properly when my bed is a step away) or to go somewhere and read.

First stop was Humble Lion on Sherbrooke. Very bland. Most popular cafes look the same these days: Pinterest-esque decor, recycled wooden everything, and people wearing the same types of clothes. For me, at least, people watching isn't fun at these types of cafes—everyone is a steady stream of boring. Humble Lion, however, has the perk of being across the street from school. Not exactly a perk, then (for the same reasons hip cafes aren't exactly that interesting).

So I stopped there to read a bit. Coffee was 2.91 for a large, that came in a 200ml paper cup. Downtown inflation at its finest. Place was fine, again, nothing special, just the usual. I sat down at the counter and read for half an hour. Wasn't the worst thing ever. Then it closed. On a side note, when in downtown, and in need of coffee, I prefer Starbucks since their prices aren't that inflated and provide around the same 6/10 grade coffee. Medium dark roast has been 2.50 for a while.

Then I went to the Eaton center because I was meeting people at the McGill metro. It's always been my least favorite of malls and metro stations. Not that I've been to many malls, but I've been to many metro stations.

I'm meeting people at 7 and it was 630 so I though I'd just sit down and read. I have no understanding of the mall's layout, aside from a vague conceptual image of escalators up-and-down over five stories. Like some goofy-ass harrypotter shit. Maybe six. One of them goes outside and the other to the metro. That I know.

I enter from the McGill college entrance and walk through three Starbuckses, various shoe stores, and a food court in search of the mythical, steadily eroding rings of sofas. Never found them.

Instead, I get to a black and red sushi stand food court. Everything is closed at this point and the lighting dim, but I still managed to sit on a sofa, in a mall, and read.

So I guess magic didn't overcome me. But I read a solid ten pages and saw various crowds of people I wouldn't have seen in a Humble Lionesque cafe: burly Asian security guard, fifteen year old boy and parents, housewife (maybe just wife) with ten bags. At the very least the cast around me was more interesting than, say distressed jeans or stan smiths.

Malls mean to offer people something for happiness or satisfaction. I just wanted place that didn't charge me to sit and read that wasn't a library or my house.

Good enough.

Universal salve of man, of my soul that hath long languished.

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