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 Quincyâ€™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 Heavenâ€”thatâ€™s another story).
Well, I started walking along Anderson Road. There started to be fewer and fewer housesâ€¦burned out industrial buildingsâ€¦fewer street lightsâ€¦fewer carsâ€¦it was getting darkerâ€¦and darkerâ€¦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. â€œGood,â€ I thought. â€œPeople.â€ Then I got this bad feeling, like maybe it wasnâ€™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 meâ€¦pretty fast.
Iâ€™ll never forget what he said, â€œYo, yo, yo, my man. You must be lost, â€™cause I know you donâ€™t want to be here.â€
Then, seeing I was clean-cut and white (I guess), he asked, â€œAre you from Bob Jones or something?â€
I didnâ€™t know at that point what answer would get me out of there alive. I wasnâ€™t from Bob Jones. So I just decided to give him a non-responsive answer, â€œIâ€™m just trying to get home,â€ I said.
â€œWell, what you wanna do is cross the street. Look down at your feet. Donâ€™t look at anyone. Donâ€™t talk to anyone. Just keep walking. Go two blocks. Turn right. Go two blocks. And thatâ€™s Augusta Road.â€
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 werenâ€™t there.