The Girl in Black

Se necesita una poca de gracia.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Scream a symphony

As of 4:00 this morning, I am officially moved out of my old apartment. Finally! I am bruised, sore, and sleep deprived, but I am out.

*sigh* Now to unpack all those boxes.

Since I spent all night cleaning and packing and moving, I didn't get a chance to get lunch makings for today from Publix, so I decided to go out to procure some sustenance. As I neared the Quiznos, traffic slowed to a grinding halt, trapping me in my air-conditionerless car (it works intermittently) in the middle of Orange Blossom Trail in Beautiful Southeast Orlando. And yes, that beautiful part was sarcastic.

Orange Blossom Trail (or OBT as we locals affectionately refer to it) is one of the most horrid roads that I have ever experienced. The part near my work is six lanes (plus a median/turn lane) of utter hell. All of the buildings are placed so far back from the street that you can't ever find the place you're going unless you've been there before. (There are blue city signs closer to the side of the road, indicating which turns take you to which businesses. It has been told to me that this is for road construction purposes, but I haven't seen any construction on this part of OBT ever. I think that the city knew they effed up people's ability to find where they're going, so they put the signs up as extra help.) No building is more than a few stories high, all buildings float in a parking lot sea, and the land has been razed flat by developers. No tall trees, no tall buildings, not even green grassy fields. Just merciless sun, wide open parking lots, dirty unpaved shoulders, grimy strip malls, and traffic. Even the swanky brand new buildings (like the new KIA dealership) look dirty.

Oh, they tried to prettify part of it (near where I work). They put in brick sidewalks, pretty street lamps, and some interesting (read: ugly and overbearing) truss structures to hang traffic lights on. None of it works, because it's all disproportionate to the size of the road. And again, everything is spaced so far back, and it's all lumped together, so the effect is lost.

The other part of OBT is the red light district. And of course, the two transition into each other. So you can go to the somewhat nice 24 hour Kinkos and get both your copies made and a hooker. If you go at the right time.

So after enduring OBT for a bit, I made it to the Quiznos. Inside they were all saying that there was an accident close to the road that I wanted to take back to work (I can make a neat little loop by taking a different road to and from, so I don't have to turn left. I hate turning left onto roads like OBT without a traffic light.) As I grabbed my flatbread sammich, I steeled myself to prepare for the traffic. Fortunately things were running a little smoother by the time I made it out.

I was blasting Chopin's "Raindrop" Prelude, in response to the SUV blasting Christina Aguilera, but decided I wanted something more uptempo. So on comes The Chemical Brothers song, "Let Forever Be." And right when it comes on and I'm starting to get into a happy groove, I see the accident.

It was right in the middle of the intersection of the road I had to turn on. The car I saw had its entire front driver's side smashed in. This car was decimated. And as I turned onto my street, I saw the firefighters gathered around, and the police, and a normal person or two, and I suddenly thought that perhaps someone was badly hurt, or perhaps dead. I felt a tremendous wave of sadness for the situation (seeing horrible car accidents always makes me feel such), and yet here I had this ecstatic, joyful song playing in my car. I felt sort of callous about it, I wanted to hear it. But it just didn't have the same punchy effect on me.

And yet I never changed tracks.

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