Janet Lowenbach

The Curb Before Sears

I try to cross the curb at a Disney version of Sears. The curb is turquoise and stepped in topographic layers as in a trail map. I like trail maps, particularly because you can visualize those changes in height, but this one makes walking difficult, because the curb narrows, and I slip-slip like an oil-footed squirrel along the plateau side of the topography. Yet I remain transfixed on the color, on Sears, the turrets, and rainbow-bird colors, and a central plaza where all the people parade around in their new ski apparel. If you look closely, anomalies appear. One man's ski outfit pinches him shut like a tube and either covers or replaces his head. The outfit is yellow and black. The models are all Africans who, in the previous century, had been deprived of ski wear and other luxuries. Their long strides swoosh the black fabric that complements the yellows, pinks, and green accent colors of the suits, and they murmur in pleasure to one another as they move about the sky heavy plaza of Sears.

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