Red Light Green Light

You are sitting at a red light at the corner of 1st Street and Korean Veterans Boulevard, the intersection where East Nashville opens up to downtown, in the shadow of Nissan Stadium. Nissan Stadium is empty. It has been empty for a very long time. 

You are looking at a parking lot that used to be a popular tailgating spot. Today, it is a drive-through testing site for a disease that has ravaged the whole world. There are no kegs or cornhole boards or crockpots of buffalo chicken dip. Instead, there are white tents and traffic cones and informational posters marked with the seal of the health department. If you squinted, and willed yourself to forget the past 6 months, you might assume it was some kind of traveling circus.  

You are thinking about how the world today is surreal and absurd. You are wondering how you got used to this, and also if you’ll ever get used to it. 

And then a flash of color catches your eye, moving quickly from the right. A blur of orange and yellow.

It is an Oscar Mayer Wienermobile. 

It is an Oscar Mayer Wienermobile traveling at a high rate of speed, and misjudging — egregiously — the length and angle of the turning lane. It is an Oscar Mayer Wienermobile skidding out slightly as it banks left, the rear wheels losing their grip on the pavement. 

You are sitting at a red light watching a giant wiener fishtail through a busy intersection. 

The Wienermobile rights itself just in time to complete the turn and disappear onto a side street. You are laughing so hard you don’t notice the light turn green.

The world, you are reminded, is surreal and absurd in good ways, too.