there are a lot of rules to stay alive

Keep your hands visible when you approach any stranger at night. 

Speak softly. 

Take your hood off.

Make sure your phone stays charged. 

The family of Renisha McBride, 19, said she went for help after a car accident around 2:30 a.m. Saturday. She  died of a gunshot wound to the head after knocking on the door of a home on the 16000 block of Outer Drive near Warren in Dearborn Heights, near where the accident occurred. Her cellphone battery had died, her family said. 

That story is going to make me buy a phone charger for my car later today. I add rules all the time.

I'm a night owl. I travel sometimes and I'm at ease exploring on my own. I'm a relatively tall, brown-skinned person. I love crowds. Add that up: I am rarely uncomfortable in public spaces.

Except when I read the news. The entire news cycle of Trayvon Martin's death made me want to stay inside. I didn't.  I won't.

Sometimes, I forget that I scare people. When I remember, I am relieved. That's the first rule.

Remember that you scare people. Act accordingly. 

Stay alive.