The secret is out. I work in Germantown. It's 'medium' ghetto.
-are few and far between
-lock their car doors when driving through
-don't know the area
-are either old-school, lost, or shady if you find them
-drive in excess of speed limits, with little regard for other laws, and efficiently
-know the area
-come in all flavors (crackhead, awesome, hilarious, hooker, drunk, churchy, and regular)
Check, check, check.
No big, I just don't wave around $100 bills at night, I'm nice to the people in the neighborhood, and they're nice to me.
But sometimes I see crazy shit. And I had to write this down in words, though they may do the scenario no justice whatsoever. Here goes....
TIME: 10:15 am
PLACE: Chelten Ave & Sprague St.
...we were loading up the Tahoe for my rout. It was just my dad handing me boxes out our loading window. We're right across the street from Pastorious Elementary and I'm looking alongside the school and there's this guy walking funny.
Usually you see alot of that on Chelten Ave but it wasn't 'cracked out' walking, it was full-blown 'retarded person' walking. I'm talking hands T-Rex'ing up near the chest, kinda tilting his head down and he's just walking real.... weird. Black guy, maybe in his mid-thirties slinking along, almost like 'sneaky retard' walking. And as I'm watching him a mini-van passing by pulls a U-turn right in front of the store and pulls over to the curb directly across the street.
It looked like this lady in the minivan pulled over for the weird dude, but she was on her cell phone talking it up and never looked at the guy. Just waited there for no reason. Again, no big deal--but everything just feels kinda 'connected' and 'not-connected' at the same time.
So I load 2 more boxes into the back of the Tahoe and look up again. The T-Rex Dude is directly behind the minivan so I can't see him in my line of vision. The Minivan Lady is still chatting away totally ignoring the world just pulled over on Chelten Ave. I'm about to look away when--what the?!
T-Rex Dude is sprinting. Full-out retard sprinting. His hands never more than 4-inches from his chest. And as he's running he sorta hunches over--bending only at the waist. He runs towards Sprague and I'm going over the bus stops in my mind figuring out which way the K runs, figure the guy must be running to catch the bus.
Mother fucker hugs the wall and doesn't break stride, turns and runs up Sprague St. There's no bus stop up there. At all. Pastorious's schoolyard is up that way. As I'm watching the Minivan Lady slams her phone closed, puts her minivan into drive and turns up Sprague--as if to follow him--but stops. Right in the middle of Sprague. Doesn't pull over to the curb or anything--just stops.
As I'm watching this 'bizarre scenario' unfold two fairly hefty, fairly loud, fairly fun-loving women are walking down our block on Chelten. I can't repeat most of what they were saying. Not even on a blog where I use the word 'fuck'. These 20- to 30-some year old women were laughing and discussing their sex-life so loud I think my deaf grandmother who died 10 years ago was blushing.
About 10 feet before they passed by us one of them said something particularly loud about the male genitalia they'd recently come into contact with and they both broke into raucous laughter. The one smacked the other on the ass, the one yelled 'you mother fucka!!!' chasing after her and they both went flying by me. If I hadn't moved I may have been stampeded. I may not be able to blog today. I really felt the wind rush by. It was like they didn't see me or my dad at all. I'm just glad they didn't run into the Tahoe. The SUV's about 7 years old and probably wouldn't have survived the encounter.
By the time Bertha and Shaqueefa rumbled by, the Minivan on Sprague on the other side of Chelten still hadn't moved and now there were cars trying to turn up the street behind her. 3 cars or so lined up and began honking at the Minivan Lady. Finally she revved her engine and took off out of sight.
At this point I can't explain the past 2 minutes and I'm kind of staring at everything in shock. It's like a scene from Final Destination. All these little 'marbles' keep rolling around setting off a series of events -- small, disjointed and confusing but somehow connected. I'm kind of zoning out and my dad is off looking around not moving or saying anything either.
Then this shade-ball black guy with his hoodie on tight comes walking by and he's giving that 'anxious eye' you have to look out for, so we load a couple more boxes and he walks right between us and there's that really awkward, really 'both sides on guard' thing going on where no one talks and all eyes lock and then look away.
Again these don't sound like alot but they just had this 'charged' thing going on. Like you feel like 'it' is about to happen. Only you don't know what 'it' is. Like Deja Vu sorta I guess....usually only lasts a few seconds, maybe a minute and I figure it's passed until--
I still don't know if she was white or black.
I still don't really know 100% if it was a woman.
I don't know where the fuck she came from.
I guess it was a homeless lady. I say I guess because it was hard to tell under all the clown make-up.
Like full-blown blue around the eyes. Full-blown bright red lipstick all around her mouth. Full-blown weird pasty white coloring. She was just in the middle of the street, kinda dragging her feet towards A&E. Me and my dad stared at her for almost a full minute, occasionally moving a box, so it looked like we weren't. But we didn't talk to each other. We couldn't talk.
I've seen lots of homeless, vagrants, crackheads, and even some loonies from around the corner -- but this was some new breed of strange.
She made no sound and kinda dragged her feet, looking off in the distance very somber and sad-like. Just like a god damned Sad-Face Clown you see in the Circus. Well she's shuffling closer and closer and I have 2 overwhelming thoughts:
1. Something bad is about to happen (I've seen It, mother-fucker!)
2. How can I use my camera phone w out her noticing?
She's gets closer and I see her feet. Socks with real big goofy sandals. Not over-sized like a clown, but not regular sandals. And she's wearing one big khaki colored jumpsuit that looks pretty stained and old and is covered with buttons and patches I can't really read. She's a few feet away now and I can't figure out why she came as close as she did. Our truck is backed up to the building. She was across the street. If she wants to get by she's going out of her way to come past us to do it. She's walking closer and everyone has stopped moving.
Ask for change?
Honk her nose?
Turn into a monster?
Perform fellatio on me?
This insanity of the past 5 minutes has reached it's crescendo (an excellent Dark Tranquility song). Every instrument is wrought with tension. Everything I know about what should happen on Chelten Ave on a Tuesday morning is out the window. This isn't Germantown anymore. For all I know this isn't reality anymore.
She's like 2 feet away from me now--like way in my personal space bubble. She looks up at me without really focusing her eyes, looks at my dad. Everything goes deathly quiet.
1 whole second goes by.
She lowers her head and sorta drags her feet, back on her merry-ish way. I still can't even talk. Our heads just watch as she walks down Chelten and fades away. I turn to my dad and we both mae the "are you serious face" and start laughing because, let's face it -- what else can you do?
Everything feels 'back to normal' too. It's like none of it ever happened and I talked with my dad about it and I tried to explain it to my mom and I just tried to explain it in this blog but it was just so.... weird. It was all the little things I maybe didn't explain the right way that made it all the weirder. Little miscues. Like a dog barking and then suddenly silence. The timing of the running T-Rex-Tard. The look in that crackhead's eye. Maybe the wind blowing and then suddenly not. Voices carrying on the wind. Weird stuff. It all just swirled together to form this perfect 'weird storm'.
And somehow it was all tied to that crazy, homeless, weirdly out-of-place Sad Clown Lady. As if it were Hurricane Weird-Sad-Clown (WSC) and somehow she was the 'eye' of the storm.
And that's still the thing about it that bothers me the most.
Where did she come from?
I was outside the whole time she was getting closer, right? You don't just 'not see' that until it's right up on you, right? And I was definitely doing alot of left-to-right of my surroundings considering all the other stuff going on for a few minutes there.
I don't know. All I know is I survived Hurricane WSC. It came and it went and every hair on the back of my nexk stood on end and everything seemed just 'something askew'. But I'm fine. I think I just might make it.
Where was she going? Where was she from? What actually happened that day?
We'll never know.
I'd like to think "to spread the work of Satan", "Hell", and "interdimensional riffing". Respectively.
picture this. but more like dee reynolds' psycho clown. but also more like homeless.