I do not believe that the need to capture shattered fragments of glass is irrational. Since I work at the mall I see a different side of the mall than the people who shop there. The other day I was walking past the same stores I always pass on my way to the bank when I noticed several broken glass bottles laying on the floor. The Essence of Dreams can't be broken like bottles of essential oils but that’s what I saw the other morning. The wreckage of someone else's hopes and dreams. Not all the stores in the mall are owned by massive corporations. Some of the stores are like the store I work at. Tiny places owned by a couple of people trying to make a living selling the products and or services that they know.

Today the mall I work at made the local news. Police arrested two people who robbed two other people at gunpoint. I don’t always like my job. I do not care for taking out the trash but I never thought anyone would rob people at gunpoint in the middle of the day. The mall I work at has a good security system. I know the people who run my corridor. Most of the employees at the stores around me are friends of mine. One of my friends owns a watch repair shop. Last night someone stole an entire case of watches from her. The kiosk across from me is owned by the man who sold me my Sudoku book. When I was a couple cents short of the purchase price he told me not to worry about it.

October 2008 was a record-breaking month for retail businesses. According to one of the announcers on my local radio this past October marks a significant drop in sales for consumer-based merchandise. Down the hall from my store there are three jewelry stores. On the opposite wing another one is going out of business. The Sharper Image store across from me has been replaced by Laacke and Joys. I’ve met most of the people who work there, they won’t be getting any of my business because they’re rude to me and my employees.

The former manager of The Lang Store stopped in to see me today. Our main topic of conversation was the people who were held up in the women's bathroom. Her job search hasn’t been going very well, I told her about our friend who’s losing her job because the store she works at is going out of business. I told her about the break in at the Aveda store. The girls who work there sold me some makeup. I don’t see them very often but they’re always nice to me and what I like best about them is their store is quiet and peaceful. Seeing the broken glass bottles on the tiled floor of the Aveda store made me want to start crying.

I know the people who own that store. It belongs to a pair of newlyweds. She’s currently four months pregnant, I walked past the store on my way back from the bank. She was sweeping up the broken glass bottles and crying. On some level I can understand that people may be in desperate need of money. I can not condone taking it from other people but maybe I would be driven to stealing if I needed money and couldn’t get it honestly. Vandalism is something I can’t get my mind around. If you want nice hair care products, take them. Don’t senselessly smash bottles and leave that for other people to find.

Life isn't fair. These are good hard working people who are victims of other people’s malice. Three years ago someone was shot and killed at the mall I work at. Teenagers under the age of seventeen are required to have a parental unit escorting them around the mall but the rule is not strictly enforced. We have gang trouble from time to time. I’m not blaming anyone in particular for any of these crimes since I don’t know who the real perpetrators are. All I have are the pictures I took because I felt the need to capture those fragmented pieces of glass. The essence of dreams: bitter, broken, and lying liquid on the ground.

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