Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Things I've Seen

Tonight, at dinner, our table was talking about a street I drive through on my way home from work, Sutherland Avenue. One of the other ladies said, "It's not really a bad neighborhood," with the kind of tone that left "but not really a good one, either" unspoken, and I replied, "It's not, but 90% of the weird things that I've seen in Knoxville have been on Sutherland Avenue."

She raised an eyebrow.

"Really? Like what?"

In no particular order:

1) While sitting in traffic on Sutherland I watched a man walk out of the bus stop, walk around the back, urinate on the bus stop, and then walk back inside. The bus stop in question, by the way, is made of clear plexiglass, and there were other people inside it at the time.

2) At least five times I've seen oncoming traffic after dark that doesn't have their headlights on. I do not flash them, because gang highbeam initiation is real (no matter what Snopes says) and it killed Brenda's boyfriend and that creepy red-herring janitor.

3) Once when I was waiting in my car at the gas station for Kristin to buy cigarettes I realized that the man in line behind her was wearing a lime green adult onesie, with feet. We did not stay to see what he was buying.

4) I saw a man walking down the sidewalk in the middle of the day, casually swinging a machete at his side.

5) I saw two pregnant women slapping each other on the sidewalk.

6) I saw a car with three headlights driving toward me. I don't know what it looking like, because it was far away, it was dark out, and it turned onto a side street before it got to me, but it had two regular headlights and a third one, higher, in between them. I'm reasonably certain that no one in Knoxville is driving a Tucker Torpedo or a Tucker Talisman, but I have no idea what else it could have been besides a weird custom car of some kind.

7) I saw something that I refer to as the Phantom Ambulance. One night, I was driving home rather late after an event on campus, and was pretty much the only car on Sutherland. I stopped for a red light at the corner where the run down barbershop with the red, white, and blue paintjob is, and while I was sitting there thinking, "It's really dark out here," the stoplight at the corner of the intersection went out. I looked up at it, and when I looked back down there was a vehicle driving slowly through the red light from the opposite direction: an ambulance with no headlights on, no ambulance lights on, and no interior lighting. As soon as it crossed the intersection the light changed, and I sped away as fast as I could. I did not turn my head.

So, yeah. Sutherland Avenue?

All weird, all the time.

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