Following the overzealous signs for “Sale,” Zoe walks into a crowded Nordstrom on Black Friday. She takes a whiff of the espresso bar on her left. At just 6 o’clock in the morning, there is already coffee spilled on the floor. An older male customer steps into the coffee without noticing. His deeply troubled eyes say that he has to deliver the coffee in his hands as soon as possible. He rushes out at the speed of light, opening up the pathway to the coffee bar itself. Sugar packets are all over the bar. You can also see a faint trail of white leading up to the bar. All of the sugar packets are gone for use. The sugar packets are empty, on the floor, on the bar, and starting to create the look of a drug den of white powder surrounding everything. The place is sheer chaos, a rampant pigsty in need of a serious Roomba clean.

Zoe, tall and gangly, wearing her dated but comfortable Juicy Couture tracksuit, moves into the overrun shoe section. Manolo Blahniks are looking decrepit and certainly not worth full price on the stained, linty floor. Shoes thrown here and there. A harried store employee closes her eyes for just a moment. She opens them again, smiling as if she has never smiled before. Her eyes are piercingly blue like the scene you see upon landing on warm islands. But not the blue you see after you have been spoiled by the luxury of blue oceans. It is the initial blue. The perfect blue.

A petite customer with an unforgiving smile hits Zoe from behind. Zoe must move on from this zoo-like maze that is clothes and shoes and a hint of coffee. Moving upstairs, customers are tearing through sale racks. The non-sale racks are pristine. Clothes hang like bats in the night. There is no disturbance and no trace of lint or even a sole wrinkle. At the sale racks, customers move around each other quickly, snatching each item without a care for who might be nearby, seeking that perfect shirt for another day in just another life. One blonde woman throws a nasty glance that could kill to another blonde woman. They exchange a look of anger and move on. Their wrinkles around their eyes are pronounced, as if neither of them have smiled in years.

Zoe goes down the escalator. A mother is yelling at her daughter for jumping. The daughter, small and silly, keeps jumping. Zoe finally beelines for the nearest door after being hit by another unforgiving woman. She is now outside. And the sun has set. It is lighter out here than in Nordstrom, somehow.