Of Pre-Christmas Shopping

The mall is packed, causing 
a sensory overload.
People weave and
thread around each other.

Aural torment comes in 
the form of a food court.
One dozen stores rush to feed
hundreds.

People chatter, giggle,
cry or scream.
The babble permeates the senses,
numbing: imperviousness approaches.

Smiling salespeople offer skinny booklets,
fixed smile fading as the day wears on.
Freebies and contests and promoted,
yielding countless rejections.

Christmas spirit is established and
encouraged: tinsel and ornaments
artfully hung
and trees strategically placed and done up.

Glitter and baubles glue together
a reminder that Christmas is 
not far off.
It is all perfectly coordinated.

Customers metamorphose from 
cheerful and energetic to drained and
weary, wincing in a Pavlovian response to
yet another store.

Shrill notes, borne from hours of
walking, creep into voices.
The gloss wears off and
tedium sets in, to be repeated next year.

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