It’s always weird, sharing Metro-North with the amateurs on weekends. No one on board knows the unspoken rules. You see people using seats in ways you’ve never seen before. People eye your monthly pass like it’s that shining suitcase in Pulp Fiction. You see people stand up and head toward the exit a few minutes into the tunnel toward Grand Central, then stand there like fools as the train crawls from 59th. (That’s a Premature Evacuation, if you’re scoring at home.) Amateurs, you think to yourself.
My first thought when I heard the party was to be in Queens was the same thought everyone has when they learn they’re going to Queens. (It goes something like….Queens?!?). But it was only Long Island City and it couldn’t have been easier. Under Grand Central, I found an escalator that went straight down to the 7, and was off at Vernon Boulevard five minutes later.
The route to Long Island City Bar reminded me of Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg around 1996–a handful of pubs, a few trendy restaurants, wondrous views of Manhattan popping out from around the corner, quietude a few blocks from the subway.
Heading home after a few drinks, I waited for the 7. Three boozy floozies swore like sailors and asked a young guy to take their picture, imploring him to “get the rat” in the background into the frame.
Two more young women had a discussion about one of the woman’s jobs, or at least her schooling. It involved cutting open cadavers. Here are some of the better terms I overheard from the future Meredith Grey, who was a brunette, about 5′ 10″ and slim, but in a skinny way, not model-y, way:
1. I tore it the fuck apart.
2. You put a sheet over the body, then zip up the bodybag.
3. The zipper started separating from the bag. The body gets really dry if somebody, like, has a shitty dissection.
4. We didn’t like, completely dissect the head. We cut, like, from here to, like, here. (I looked away and mercifully don’t know where “here” or “here” is.)
5. I have, like, dead body fluid like, here, and like, here, because my gloves stop here. (Again, didn’t see where “here”, “here” and “here” is.)
6. You wash, you wash, you wash. My hands are, like, so dry.
7. When people put together, like, ACLs.
The train showed up 10 minutes later. It was more than half empty. The non-medical friend sat down. Grey’s Anatomy stayed on her feet.
“Sit,” urged the friend.
Grey’s Anatomy made a face as she looked at the subway seat.
“No,” she said. “I don’t sit.”
So the woman with dead-guy fluid up and down her arms won’t touch the subway seats… Is she just weird, or does she know something we all should know?
That’s what I wondered as I waited for the 12:06 back to Hummerville.