As I mentioned when talking about racial integration, sometimes I would accompany my father on his job when I was out of school. He was a “meat salesman”. He wholesaled meat to country and small town stores. At a lot of these country stores there would be a gray haired old man, sometimes three or four, hanging around. I figured that they were retired farmers and were there to socialize. One thing seemed odd to me; they all wore long sleeve khaki shirts. As I stated earlier, I would wear short pants in the summer. If I could get away with it, I would not wear a shirt. Here were these old men wearing medium weight long sleeve shirts and it was very hot.
Sometime I would stay in the truck while father would go inside a store. Having no air conditioning I would have the windows down with my arm out the window. My elbow would be bent and my hand was back inside the truck. I always made sure that my upper arm was touching the truck so that my muscles would flatten and I hoped they would look bigger. One day the truck was parked in an area behind and between several stores. The streets were paved, but this area was not. It was hot and dusty. I had my arm out and someone walked by and looked at me. I thought they must have seen what looked like big muscles. Then a whole new reality came to me. It seemed that I was alive to be tested and everyone, including my mother and father, were observing me, seeing how I was acting and reacting. That lasted a few moments and then my rational mind took over. I was back in the reality I had lived in so far in my life. When I wasn't distracted by other things, I found I could go back into the mind frame of being tested. So I played with that off and on that summer. Then I realized where the idea of being watched had come from. At church I had been taught that God put us here and if we were good we would go to heaven. If we didn’t measure up then we went to hell. After that realization I never went back into that reality. Today it is my understanding that seeing things from that point of view is paranoia. I know nothing of psychology so I am not sure. This took place while I was in my early teens.
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