I remember shopping. My Nonna would get her shopping bag. She and I would go to Mazilli-Baptisti to buy Italian staples. There would be dried beans, chestnuts and lentils in barrels. The smell of cheese and cured olives was overwhelming. Then we visit the Butcher. Then dish towels from the Lady-Who-Speaks-Italian-so-Fast I cannot understand her. Then the Baker where the scent of anise would make me faint with cookie anticipation. Shopping was a dignified sensual tour of the neighborhood. We got all the Chambersburg news and tangerines at Nelly's Fruit. It was the most exciting part of my week. I was about four when she started to take me shopping."Bah, humbug." - Ebenezer Scrooge
I am not shopping anymore. Shopping has lost its charm. Why? People are shooting each other in the stores. Every fricking thing for sale is made of or wrapped in plastic. You know, that stuff that is never going to biodegrade and is forming islands? Most of the things that compose the seatrash were not even manufactured in the 50s. Somehow we lived without plastic bags. And lived well. The streets were clean even in poor neighborhoods. The beaches and the surf were pristine.
You know what happened to Mazilli-Baptisti? The last time I went there was almost no stock. It was dark and dank and smelled bad. Then the owners, the sons, got busted for dealing cocaine in the 80s. "L'america cosa si puo fare?" the old folks would say around the table.
I am not shopping. Mostly because I cannot afford to buy anything. Who is buying all this stuff? You got me. I only know one thing. As the Corpos who make everything we buy got larger and richer, the trash piles also got larger. And the jobs got smaller and meaner.
The Corpos privatize the profits and socialize the trash. You see them picking up any of this "disposable" crap? Or paying taxes for the city to do it? Plum Street is full of trash I pick up. Trash seems to flow down Plum Street from the Avenue like tampon applicators on the high tide.
I have had enough. I own enough. I am tired of dusting the stuff. I am not shopping. I wonder if I am alone.