28. Hickory Hollow Mall

Everyone says that the reason why no one goes to Hickory Hollow Mall is because it’s not safe, that it’s over-run with teenagers and gang members or teenagers who are gang members.

There’s another reason, though, in addition to that.

How many times can a woman be walking through the mall only to feel a small hand slide into hers and feel those small fingers squeeze and in the second she looks down to say, “Oh, no, honey, I’m not your mom,” find no one there and still want to shop there?

I know there are a few women who go deliberately, at least once a week, hoping that the child will reach out to one of them, hoping that they will not look down, will keep a hold of that small hand and…

And what?

That part they haven’t worked out.

“So, Your Uncle Got in Some Crappy Paper and You Get to be on NPR?”

Well, so, I am about to fall over. Right over. I just got asked to be on the weekend All Things Considered, and read them a ghost story.

They found them on Metafilter, because one of you was kind enough to stick them up there.

I am so excited and thrilled and unsure about which one is best to read.

Ha, whew. How weird.

Edited to Add: Okay, I have more details, the most important of which is that I will get bumped if anything more interesting than me happens. If you read me, you know that is a very low bar to set, so I’m going to have to ask that everyone who reads this first tape everyone around you into their seats and then tape yourself into your seat. Don’t talk to anyone, don’t do anything, and, for gods’ sake, don’t tell anyone at NPR about the strange rash of people being taped into their seats.

Then we must all keep our fingers crossed that everyone else in the world decides this would be a good weekend to do totally normal things.

They’ve got some ideas about which stories they want me to read but they’ll let me know later today.  I will then practice reading it out loud. Then I’ll go tomorrow to WPLN to read them to Guy Raz.

And then nothing interesting can happen, at all.

My Dad’s so cute. He’s all like, “The important thing is that they asked you and I got to tell your Uncle.”