My first job was at the Kentucky Fried Chicken in the food court at the mall for about half a summer in eighth grade. I wasn’t there long but I learned a few very important lessons:

a) not to eat KFC

b) at the end of the day excess fried chicken could be traded for excess iced donuts at the Donut King across the food court

c) the fast foodists and the food court janitorial staff were locked in an age-old turf war right under the oblivious noses of the shopping mall clientele

d) working in such close proximity to the record store and having hour-long lunch breaks meant my pay check was usually spent before it even arrived,

and lastly

e) I needed to start smoking, get laid, and get the fuck away from fast food.

But the thing that’s stuck with me the most from that time are the mornings I’d get off the bus half an hour early for my opening shift and wander the empty mall in already-bright summer morning light with Elliott Smith in my Discman and “St Ide’s Heaven” on repeat. I’d listen to that one track at least twenty times a day and now it never fails to take me back. Nothing’s as bad in rearview.

I’ve been out haunting the neighborhood
And everybody can see I’m no good
When I’m walking out between parked cars
With my head full of stars

Shopping Haul:

Last weekend I got to spend some time with my sister at the mall & this is what I ended up buying. Bath & Body Works candles, basic tanks from Aeropostale, & a red flannel shirt & combat boots from Wet Seal. Everything I need to stay warm this fall.