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12th Grade

          Guess what. I changed schools again! Surprised, I know. At one point I went with some old friends to the mall. They were taking awhile to get ready, so I went in ahead of them. These days this was my attire every day, no matter the weather or conditions:

          -black running shoes
          -black socks
          -black jeans, full leg
          -black belt (with a black buckle when I could find one)
          -black shirt, sleeve length varied, tucked in
          -black leather choker with variable pendant
          -black leather riding gloves (fingerless)
          -black leather trench coat

          Based immensely on my 4th grade realization I knew I would be suspicious. But, as I also held to, I was comfortable in my attire and skin. When I entered the mall, I walked in and figured that I would check out their jeans to see if they had my size while I waited. As I looked around for the appropriate section, I noticed that there were three security guards that were at the department store entries. As I began to move, they did too. I noticed they were moving around me to triangulate my location. One or two would skulk behind something while the third would maintain visual contact.
          Additionally I could hear them on their radios with camera control to observe me too. They hovered around me the whole time I was in the store.
          My friends passed through eventually and I followed them as casually as I could as not to raise any alarms. As I passed through the store on the way out they followed me again.

          I know that I looked suspicious. I am not unaware in how the world perceives me. If I had been up to something, sure, all three guards would have been happy to have been there. But to me it was another instance of being singled out.
          Perhaps it is due to where I lived, but my threat assessment is a little different. It seems to have dulled in recent months (I live a less stressful life than I used to). But the way someone walks when they have a weapon on them, or when they are used to doing so, is different than someone doing so without that influence. I do not know what the thoughts of the security guards were. But I would have thought that, at least, I would not have been harried on my return exit out of the store after proving to be nor problem the first time through.