Saturday, February 2, 2013

Supermarket at Night


Art by Andy Warhol

The supermarket is still open. It won’t close till midnight. It is brilliantly bright. Its brightness offers sanctuary from loneliness and the dark. You could spend hours of your life here, in a state of suspended insecurity, meditating on the multiplicity of things to eat. Oh dear, there is so much! So many brands in shiny boxes, all of them promising you good appetite. Every article on the shelves cries out to you, take me, take me; and the mere competition of their appeals can make you imagine yourself wanted, even loved. But beware — when you get back to your empty room, you’ll find that the false flattering elf of the advertisement has eluded you; what remains is only cardboard, cellophane and food. And you have lost the heart to be hungry.
This bright place isn’t really a sanctuary. For, ambushed among its bottles and cartons and cans, are shockingly vivid memories of meals shopped for, cooked, eaten with Jim. They stab out at George as he passes, pushing his shopping-cart. Should we ever feel truly lonely if we never ate alone?
— Christopher Isherwood, “A Single Man,” 1964

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