SWORDFERN
Rooted, I used to think.

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Friday, Feb. 20, 2009 @ 8:06 am
The Mall



I stopped by our local little ghetto mall yesterday on my way home from school. I needed to pick of a couple of things from the Safeway, and I thought that I'd poke around in at Zellers to see if they carry any Briggs and Little, as Sue has found in Nova Scotia.

Anyhow, I was walking past the entrance to the mall when I heard some men yelling. Nobody was standing around, and I continued past the entrance. It was then that I noticed that just inside the door there were two men on the ground with another man watching them with his arms crossed. On the ground, one of the men was struggling to hold the other in a choking head lock. The entrapped man was kicking violently at the glass, his face tomato red. Suffocating. Choking. My stomach flopped, and I did a 360 to evaluate my surroundings.

My mind started working. Do I call 911? Has someone called 911? Are the two men in control security men? Is this a gang fight? They were all wearing black or navy clothes. Maybe the guy was a shoplifter. I thought about the rise of gang violence in Vancouver: 11 killings in 15 days, and walked quickly away from the immediate scene. I pulled out my phone and looked at it. If I don't call, then I'm a bad person. But I don't want to bother them if someone's already called. I don't want to ask any of the men what is going on. Do I call? Do I call? Do I call?

The time lapse from my noticing the fight and staring at my phone was probably about 15 seconds. Perhaps less. Time seemed stopped. A giant second hand making a lazy, resounding tick.

And then I heard a siren.

I stood there, still holding my phone, listening to the siren coming towards me. Louder and louder, and then the police car is stopped in front of the mall, and the officer hustles towards the large glass doors.

Anyhow, my trip to Zellers was fruitless. The Safeway has been renovated but not reorganized. Violence in the mall... I don't think that I'll ever stop there again.


Roots | Shoots