Last week I went to the Valencia Town Center, which is a local mall located near my school.  There’s nothing particularly special about this place, it’s a regular mall, complete with the mandatory Gap, Gap Kids, Gap Baby, Gap Fetus, etc.

I was walking around by myself and was completely tense and uncomfortable.  I looked at the gaudy window displays in “Forever 21,” the stupid flying toy helicopter kiosks, the overpriced slim fit jeans at Express, and all I could feel was anger for the mindless American consumerism that these malls exude.

Buy, buy, buy!  It’s more useless shit that you don’t need, but you feel like you have to have it in order to be cool and keep up appearances.  There’s nothing substantive about these stores in the mall.  It’s all about selling you matieral items to make you feel good about yourself.

Needless to say I was getting angry and feeling all high and mighty about having to walk around in this ‘godforsaken capitalist hell hole.’

“I can’t believe people really believe in this shit.  Boo boo bee boo.  Oh I’m so smart and above this.”  All that bullshit.

But why was I at this mall in the first place if I have such strict aversions to such establishments?

Earlier in the day during my acting class, I became a bit bored and began looking at my sneakers, the New Balance V74s, which are pretty much Converses with a New Balance logo.  When I bought them this summer with my friend, Tommy, he specifically instructed me, “Bryan you are going to have to clean those and keep those fresh, or else the women are going to think you’re a clown.”

So as I stared at my sneakers and thought of my friend’s advice, I suddenly became very intent on going to Foot Locker, buying some sneaker cleaner, and cleaning my New Balances.  It was my mission in order to appease these mythical woman who apparently care more about how my shoes look, rather than if I can talk to them for more than 3 minutes without saying the word, “faggot.”

I ended up at the mall to buy fucking shoe cleaner.  As I walked around bitching and moaning in my mind about American consumerism, I was there for the sole purpose of making my shoes look nice and shiny, with the hopes that their sparkliness would woo a nice half-black girl into my twin sized bed.  I was worse than American consumerism because I was fully aware that having scintillating shoes was not going to get me laid, it wasn’t going to do anything at all constructive for me.  Yet I really wanted to look at my sneakers in the mirror, ogle them, and say, “Wow, look how white the bottoms are!  I am so cool!”

I walked out of the mall after purchasing the shoe cleaner, perhaps one of the biggest hypocrites alive, but at the very least accepting the fact that I was such.  I spent the rest of the night spraying white foam on my shoes and scrubbing away dirt with the supplied brush, giving in to the fact that my moral convictions are weaker than a fresh pair of sneakers.

Story of my life.