A child is born in New England. He’s given toys to play with. Stuffed animals to love. He learns to walk, to talk, and to feed himself. He goes to school, where he’s taught to read, write, and do math. He graduates high school. Maybe he goes on to college. Maybe he serves in the military. Maybe he learns a trade. Maybe someone loves him along the way. Hopefully lots of people do, and he returns their love a hundredfold.
At some point in his journey, he becomes conscious, if not completely aware, of something called taste. Of preference. Through trial, error, and observation, he embraces some form of culture that’s comfortable and meaningful to him. He demonstrates this with the way he speaks and acts, with the clothes he wears and the music he favors.
In what seems like the blink of an eye, he’s a man, with a career and people who depend on him. Maybe he marries. Maybe he procreates. He comes to his late forties, and what makes him him has been constructed, brick by brick. Maybe he likes what he’s become. Maybe he doesn’t. Either way, this funnel leads him here, to you, in the parking lot of the Lee Premium Outlets in western Massachusetts. What he shows you there, amongst all the Easter bargain-seekers, is the sum total of everything he’s become.
And when you see him climb out of an aqua blue Corvette, sporting a mullet, a goatee, and a pirate earring, wearing a multicolored pleather NASCAR jacket, you wonder what the fuck was going on that whole time.
You really do.