As I awaited the return of my beloved Sharon from her shopping stops today, I sat in a mall-provided couch-type chair. Mostly I wrote, since my Kindle battery quietly insisted it need more charging. And that was okay, since that is something I long to do more. Indeed, I was able to complete the written expression of a memory of sorts I had begun a few nights back.
However, just about the time I completed the recording of my little musing, I noticed two people I assumed to be staff from the mall. One was more of a creative type, a lady, and the other was more of the official custodian of the place. Their work I observed, without seeming too obvious, and what I saw in their work, and what followed, could possibly be characterized as performance art. You know, artistic expression that involves passersby, and doesn’t just sit there on the wall for others to contemplate?
With my head in my journal book, I heard two people advance on the area in front of the bookstore, about ten feet between the store and my location on the chair. I looked up, and the woman had some materials in her hand. It turns out they were footsteps, of sort, or maybe I should say, they were shoe prints, for a large, or stout, man. The lady arranged the shoe print copies on the floor, and proceeded to take strides across them herself; I assume to ensure the pacing was correct. When the eight prints were deemed in the correct position, the custodian took a print, set it aside, and cleaned the mall floor only in that location with some sort of spray-bottle cleaner. Each print he handled in this way. Then, the creative person returned to the beginning of the line they had laid out, peeled off the backing of these over sized shoe prints, and affixed them to the floor in the spot previously cleaned. Each print she secured in this way.
Their work complete, they strode off “stage”. And then the onlookers engaged. Two little girls, parting hands from their mother’s side at the couch beside my chair (we were in a grouping, apparently), stretched from print to print in a manner not unlike playing hot lava. Like jumping from one island to the next, they made it the entire course of steps before returning to mama. Adults reacted to these prints like a magnet, also, either stepping in stride, or avoiding the prints like one avoids a hot potato. An older girl, talking on her cell phone, absent-mindedly strode through, matching her steps perfectly.
It turns out, so the story goes, these steps would be the boot marks of a messy Santa. By following the boot prints, one would find the way to the jolly elf (who looks nothing like Legolas, by the way) in order to secure a photo for a wary child. Ah well, it was entertaining to me, anyway.