We went to the mall last night to buy me a bathing suit. (Another bathing suit, that is. I feel that being on a beach for a week warrants more than one, and maybe even a bathing suit that--oh shock--my mother didn't pick out. I have never bought a bathing suit for myself before because Mom sends me one every once in a while and they fit, so I keep them.) As pulled up, we noticed a security cart behind us. Then, ahead of us, a group of fifteen or twenty men, black, in their twenties or late teens, mostly wearing blue or white shirts. Trailing them were two more security people. "This doesn't look good," I observed as we stopped at a stop sign.
"No," Eric agreed as the group of men flowed into the street. "And they know they're being tailed."
"Still messing up traffic, though," I said.
"Yeah." Several seconds later enough of them had moved out of the street that we could go. "Part of me wants to stay and see what happens, and another part wants to stay away."
We drove on, speculating about why the men were there. "They probably were a gang," Eric said. "Men that age don't congregate in groups that big."
"But what were they doing at the mall?" I said. "Shopping for their mommas' birthdays? What do gangs do, anyway? Maybe they have ice cream socials. Or chicken bakes."
"Yeah, and they're bring-your-own-gun."