Still unemployed, I decided to go spend my non-existent income at the mall. While riding the escalator, I was suddenly thrown back to one of my most embarrassing high school moments. Hold on to your butts, this is going to get scary…As soon to be “juniors,” there was only one place for Ben and me to go on a hot summer afternoon: the mall. 16 and licensed, Ben navigated his four wheeled symbol of freedom into the overcrowded parking lot only to find the last open spot roughly 3.2 miles from the entrance. The mall was as crowded as a Sunday morning buffet next to a retirement home. Why we were there escapes my memory. When I think back to that day, the sweet smell of thousands of sweaty mall-goers retreating from the early July heat quickly returns to my mind. Dodging in and out of the endless display of tube tops and spaghetti straps, we stopped for a quick sample from Sees and made our way to paradise: the food court. The only thing that rested on the minds of the turbulent sea of high school adolescents and their insignificant middle school counter parts was the quest to find somebody that would validate their existence. Their probing gaze searched the crowd for that someone that was not up to their standards. When found, the awkward pile of hormones and second hand clothes would become the topic of conversation until someone else was spotted that was more worthy of their attention. Oblivious to the danger that lurked ahead, I made my way to the towering escalator that would shortly deliver me to my acceptance, or my doom, along with freedom from the oppressing hunger that has since become an old friend. As the escalator moaned under the weight of its passengers, we slowly reached our destination. One by one the metal stairs in front of me disappeared to return and retrieve another load. As I made my way off of the escalator, the action of the stair being sucked under the metal guard slowly pulled the front of my sandal in with it. Trying to avoid the impending social assassination, I used all my strength to rip my sandal away from the metal that was so forcefully trying to ruin my life. Suddenly, my sandal was freed from its satanic captor but not without a large chunk of foam becoming lodged in the escalator. No sooner than I had been released, the escalator came to an abrupt halt throwing everyone forward. As they regained their balance, a small army of people all turned their attention to what had caused such a tragic accident. There I was, a short, chubby, insecure boy trapped between those that wanted to kill me for making them walk up an escalator, and those that would feed off my embarrassment like Stephanie Meyers off fresh blood. I did the only thing a boy in my situation could do; I stared at the floor and moved my stocky little legs to Panda Express where I would throw on an extra side of orange chicken to drown my sorrows.