I heard the horrific sound on my way home from work today.
You know the song “Last Kiss” by Pearl Jam? Well, do you know the original by Wayne Cochran? It’s a lot less whiny and stonered out.
Well, the lyrics mention the “screaming tires” and “busting glass” of car accidents. On my way home, on a rainy Atlanta day, the screaming tires were just a few inches away from busting someone’s glass. Maybe mine.
When driving from my work to the interstate there are about five, very closely placed traffic lights. I made it through four straight greens, and the fifth one was mos visibly red.
As I was slowing down to stop along with the other cars at the light, a man Volkswagen quickly shifted into my lane. At the same time, a big white truck with a trailer attached to the back, shifted into my lane behind me.
Because of the car quickly moving in front of me, I had less space to stop in, and had to press down on my brakes a little harder.
Then I saw the truck switch lanes in my rearview mirror, which means he’d have to be paying close attention to catch that I was just cut off and that he’d have to slow down a lot faster.
That’s when I heard it.
The screech of tires attempting a quick stop on wet pavement. I waited for either the impact or the sound of impact.
I didn’t know if it was the car in front of me, my car, or the truck behind me.
But the feeling of waiting for something bad to happen when you hear the warning signs is creepy and surreal. It was like time slowed down for a few seconds while I tried to figure out whose car was squealing, and whose car may be about to be hit.
Luckily, we all seemed to stop in time, and traffic eased up as the light turned green in front of us.
Nonetheless, it was scary for a few minutes.
In other news, I heard the song “Dirty Laundry” by Don Henley on the way home. I hadn’t heard that song since I was really young. And I realized for the first time that the song was not literally about laundry.