I went to the mall last Friday. Just going to the mall makes me sad, but this time something else happened that made me even sadder.
I had to get the screen on my (crappy) iPhone repaired. To give you an idea of how mall-averse I am, it had been broken since October.
When I arrived, I parked as close as I could to the door nearest the Apple Store, in order to minimize my exposure to mall.
I ended up at the edge of the parking lot because even on a Friday afternoon, The Garden State Plaza (or Malebolge, as I refer to it) is an overcrowded zoo. As I exited my car, I saw a woman walking away from her car and toward the same entrance that I was, a few rows away.
I ended up almost catching up to her as we reached a sidewalk, near an overpriced looking clothing store who name seems to be a pun on Exxon’s Uniflo oil. She sped up.
Then I noticed her nervously watching me via my reflection in the store window.
And then she looked back at least once while we walked toward the door.
I continued walking the only direction that made sense; to the only door near us.
When we entered the mall, it was in an empty side hallway that has only a small lock shop and a closed bank. She looked back at me at least two more times, and then finally stopped to tie her shoe. I kept walking and rounded the corner to the Apple Store.
My first reaction was to be annoyed. I don’t think I look threatening, and I was wearing a Linux t-shirt and carrying a Kindle, fer cryin’ out loud.
Then I thought; this is what it’s like to be profiled.
And then I remembered who’s in the White House, and it made me sad.