When the store lights go off, Macklemore is standing in the donation room of Goodwill. He is elbows-deep in a canvas donation bin of someone else's clothes.
The bright florescent lights of the donation room remain on. Macklemore extricates one arm from the donation bin and looks at his giant gold watch (secondhand, not always correct).
Closing time, Macklemore thinks to himself. He begins to idly hum "Closing Time" by Semisonic. He continues to root through the donation bin, pushing side stained 5K t-shirts and old jeans to pull out uniquely patterned button-ups.
Generally, customers are not allowed in the donation room of Goodwill. But, Macklemore had provided a huge upsurge in business with the release of his hit song "Thrift Shop," which specifically namedropped Goodwill, he assumed. He assumed he would be welcome. Better to ask forgiveness than permission, at least.
Fifteen minutes later, Macklemore is finished. All the uniquely patterned buttons up have been removed from the donation bin, along with a scarf and yet another giant fur coat. He picks the pile up from the linoleum of the donation room floor and scurries to the door that separates the donation room from the sales floor.
"Oh, I didn't know I wasn't allowed back here," he mutters to himself, practicing. "Won't happen again... I found these, though..." He pushes the door.
It doesn't budge.
He jimmies the doorknob and pushes harder. It still doesn't budge. It's locked.
"Hello?" Macklemore says aloud. His voice echoes to the high ceilings. "Hello? Unlock the door!"
No one answers. He sets his chosen items aside and slams his shoulder into the door. "Hello!" he says again louder. "I'm in here! I'm Macklemore!"
Through the windows in the donation room, Macklemore peers into the storefront. All the lights are off and it is silent. The Goodwill is closed and the doors are locked.
He sprints across the room, sweat gathering at his temples, and tries the door that leads outside. It doesn't move.
"Why don't they turn off the lights in here when they close?" Macklemore says. He scrubs his hand across his forehead. "Why don't they check for customers?"
He bangs his fists on the door. "Hello? Hello!"
The only response is the buzz of the fluorescent bulbs overhead.
He turns and leans back against the door. He slides down, slowly, until he is sitting on the linoleum with his knees to his chest. The lights reflect oppressively off the stained white floors and walls.
"I'm trapped," Macklemore whispers, gazing at the aisles and aisles of donation bins. He knows inside each bin is at least one wonderful item, one come-up waiting to find him and guide him to nightclub glory. And yet, here, trapped within the well-lit rows, he does not feel excitement or joy. He was so used to appearing in Goodwill, snatching one or two things, and disappearing back in into a world of expensive mixed drinks and speed boats. Now he was trapped, locked up with other peoples' discarded items, marinating in the stench of unwashed clothes. Goodwill as an idea had lost its kitsch. Goodwill was now his reality. Like so many others, he had no where else to go.
Two hours later, Macklemore is lying inside a donation bin. The room is cold. He burrows beneath the fur coat he found so gleefully just hours ago, but still he shivers. The buzzing lights burn through his eyelids and keep him from sleep. He is thirsty. He is alone. He thinks of the song that made him famous, and his stomach turns. He wonders if he will ever be the same again.
Kate Davis Jones is half of the "creative team" behind the vaguely popular blog "Rap Industry Fan Fiction." She's on Twitter - @k8dj
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