Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Closing Time

When I was a small boy, I would become uneasy at times when I was out shopping with my parents at a department store and an announcement came over the public address system that the store would be closing in fifteen minutes.  I thought that if we didn't hurry out, we might be trapped in the store all night.  I would have run to the entrance if my parents had let me.  In my child's world of absolutes, closing meant that employees and customers alike would be gone at the moment of closing time, and the gates would clang shut.  I couldn't quite grasp why my parents seemed utterly unconcerned at the developing crisis.  They took their time and sauntered through the store as if they had all the time in the world.  I imagined being in the center of the store, the lights going out, and being trapped in complete darkness without food or water.   As every little kid knows, the darkness hides very scary things.  Turn out the light, and instantly,  you're surrounded by horrible creatures of the night.