I went into work on Monday thinking it was going to be another boring day. But then Glenn came back from lunch and said to me, “There’s a crime scene out there. I’m surprised you’re not at it.”
“WHAT?” I gasped, and while I rushed to shove my stupid arms into my jacket, he explained that someone apparently either shot someone or used a machete. I figured he was exaggerating, but I was already running to the door before he could finish.
The scene of the crime was right outside the same trolley stop that I use every goddamn day, so that’s just lovely. There’s also a bus stop alongside of the trolley station, and it is a pretty grimy bus stop at that. There’s literally no need to walk past it so it’s easily avoidable. However, this time I walked right over to the small crowd that was gathering on the other side of the police tape.
I walked up to a young couple who were bitching about how no one was giving the cops space. Like, “Look at all these dumb people, come to gawk at the real life crime scene.”
“Wow, what’s going on, I wonder?” I asked casually, trying to use my best “Do-do-dooo, oh wow, what is going on guys? No really, I didn’t come out here just to see a dead body*” tone.
*(There was no dead body. The victim had already been transported to the hospital by the time I got there.)
“I don’t know,” the guy said in a way that made it sound like one long word. “We just got here.”
“Someone got shot or cut up,” the girl shrugged. “That’s what they saying.”
“Wow. Scary,” I chirped, and immediately played it back 384,789,234 times in my head, kicking myself for sounding like fucking Annette Funicello talking about smearing some peanut butter on two slices of white.
I crossed the street, hoping to have a better view from over there. I called Henry. “Pretend like you’re on the phone with me,” I whispered. “I don’t want to look suspicious.” Then Henry was getting annoyed because he kept asking me questions and I would just whisper, “Hold on. I can’t tell you right now” so then he was like “This is dumb” and we ended the call. I was going to just go back into the Law Firm, which is right across the street from the trolley station, but then I remembered that Glenn suggested going INSIDE the trolley station and looking out the window.
So I did that and by golly, he was right. Literally nothing separated me from the two puddles of blood but one pane of glass. There were three guys who had the same idea, so we huddled together, taking pictures and saying things like, “Wow, this is so crazy” even though really it’s not THAT crazy because, you know, American cities are prone to violent crimes, apparently.
The biggest puddle you can see I’ve circled beneath the bench and then there’s more over by the curb. At first I felt like an asshole, photographing this, but everyone else was doing it too. So…Plus, I haven’t ever seen crime scene blood before so this was a pretty big deal for me. Real blood is so bright! Like paint!
Everyone I talked to said the same thing as Glenn: that some guy apparently got off the bus and attacked a man with a machete. The thought of someone randomly riding the bus into town, waiting to slash a bitch with the machete hidden up the sleeve of his parka, was really frightening. I decided it was time to go back to work.
Slowly, more information started to trickle in on various news sites, the first update stating that THE MAN WITH THE MACHETE WAS ON THE LOOSE like some fucking Jason Takes Pittsburgh bullshit. And I was out there! Glenn snidely said that it was probably one of the guys I was talking to, coming back to admire his work.
But then another update explained that it wasn’t a random act: the victim and the perp knew each other and were apparently fighting over some broad. One of the news accounts said that a woman stepped in and intervened, causing the perp to flee. I wondered if that was the same woman who inspired this independent slasher film and if she was even worth it, because I can’t imagine Henry taking a machete-swipe for me.
By the end of the work day, we learned that this Yinzer Jason Voorhees had walked right down the street the Army Navy store, bought the machete, and walked back to the bus stop where he cut the other man’s hand right down to the bone. I also read another account that stated the man also took a blow to the head. He’s expected to be just fine so now I don’t feel as bad for posting pictures of his blood on Instagram.
And my blog.
The next morning, Nate came over and said, “I didn’t know all this machete stuff was going on yesterday! Why didn’t anyone tell me!?”
“We did!” I argued.
“Yeah, but when you said you were going out to see the crime scene,” he reasoned, “I thought you were just ‘being Erin’.”
[Ed.Note: My favorite part of this whole thing is that I used the A Beautiful Mess app to edit the photo of the crime scene and then tagged it #abeautifulmess on Instagram so all their beautiful pictures of ridiculous DIY projects and perfectly-styled lattes is thwarted by a photo of the blood of a man who was hacked by a machete. Surprisingly, none of the ABM staff members have commented with #needsmoremasonjars or #putabirdonit.]