WHAT WE THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT.
I know this will seem a little out there, but I thought you might want to hear about the night, back in the late 1980s, when I met an angel on Green Avenue.
There used to be an audio studio called Mark Five / Sandcastle, in a sort of industrial part of town off of White Horse Road. I was there producing some music for Quincy's Steakhouse late one night. I had been dropped off at the studio. And since I finished around 9:30, and since I lived not too far away, I decided to walk home. I was a tough guy. I had walked through a lot of urban neighborhoods late at night in Pittsburgh. What could Greenville, SC do to me?
Problem was, I made a miscalculation. Instead of turning right at White Horse and going down to Grove Road (which would have gotten me home in about half an hour), I turned left on White Horse and went up to Anderson Road (which could have gotten me home to Heaven-that's another story).
Well, I started walking along Anderson Road. There started to be fewer and fewer houses...burned out industrial buildings...fewer street lights...fewer cars...it was getting darker...and darker...and darker.
Finally, around 11:00, I found myself somewhere on Green Avenue. I saw some people on a stoop, in front of some sort of lighted store front up ahead. "Good," I thought. "People." Then I got this bad feeling, like maybe it wasn't so good after all. It suddenly occurred to me that I had a shoulder bag full of one-of-a-kind audio masters, probably worth thousands of dollars.
A couple hundred yards from the stoop, I stopped and looked down at my feet for about ten seconds, to gather my thoughts. When I looked up, there was this tall African American guy about twenty feet away, walking right toward me. He was about 6'5" tall. He was wearing a KANGOL hat. And he was walking right for me...pretty fast.
I'll never forget what he said, "Yo, yo, yo, my man. You must be lost, 'cause I know you don't want to be here."
Then, seeing I was clean-cut and white (I guess), he asked, "Are you from Bob Jones or something?"
I didn't know at that point what answer would get me out of there alive. I wasn't from Bob Jones. So I just decided to give him a non-responsive answer, "I'm just trying to get home," I said.
"Well, what you wanna do is cross the street. Look down at your feet. Don't look at anyone. Don't talk to anyone. Just keep walking. Go two blocks. Turn right. Go two blocks. And that's Augusta Road."
I followed his directions completely. To a tee. I believe the guy was an angel. And I believe he turned me invisible and walked me right around whatever was happening on that stoop. You may not believe it. But you weren't there.