".... a total panic caused by the option of limitless shopping.... In my case, this phobia is compounded by the lighting – especially in Target. Aaron took me there once and I could not really get past the doorway. It was just horrifying. If I go to Hell, I will not have my ankles licked by fire. And I will not be lit from below. I will be subjected to giant, constant, overhead fluorescent lighting – what Michael Cunningham once called less lighting than the 'banishment of all darkness.'... All darkness must be banished to promote and encourage the purchase of things. This is what a huge amount of our culture now rests upon: the purchase of things. I guess you have to banish the literal darkness to disguise the shallow yet impenetrable darkness our shopping civilization represents."
The fear of shopping. Do you have it? If so, is it about the extreme excess of free choice? Or is it about the strong lighting? Or is it the fear of encountering strange people who are intimidated by choice and overhead lighting?
Me, I just want to have the choice to buy incandescent bulbs because I hate fluorescent lighting at home, but I don't mind strong overhead lighting in stores. Drug stores, grocery stores, hardware stores — these places would seem dingy and dilapidated if the conventional bright lighting were missing.
But I do understand the feelings of dissociation that can envelope you in a store, especially a large store with long aisles full of colorfully packaged products and lots of slow-moving customers pushing their carts. It can make you think of what Hell might be like, perhaps because of a nagging sense that acquiring material goods is sinful, perhaps because you're vaguely conscious that the minutes remaining in your life are ever fewer and yet here you are expending them shambling around in a windowless box.
Shallow commercial message: You can remain seated in aesthetically dimmed light and shop very quickly at Amazon, leaving you more time to do things you love, such as, perhaps, reading this blog, which you can feel good about having made a contribution to, at no cost to yourself, unless it's somehow deemed sinful when we reach the final reckoning.