amygrech (amygrech) wrote,
amygrech
amygrech

Quality Time With Strangers

If you rely on public transportation to get around, you spend part of your time with strangers.  I use the subway to get around.  With gas prices out of control I've noticed that rider ship on the F train is now out of control.  Some mornings, it's almost impossible to get a space to stand, let alone a seat.

I operate on auto pilot until I've had my coffee; that gives my morning commute a surreal quality...Take the other morning for example, even though the train was packed, I pulled out the little notebook I carry with me to jot down part of the story I am currently working on before it vanished into the ether.  I was vaguely aware of the man an woman talking directly to my left; they were both in their mid-forties.  The man was much taller than me, so he was able to watch as I scribbled in my book.  Even though the woman was shorter than I am, she was also able to see my book, in which I wrote a scene that involved a doctor and a scalpel.  The two started talking about doctors and scalpels--I learned that a scalpel is six inches long--very helpful...

My eyes must have lit up, because the woman, who was a writing professor told her companion that she had her class read an essay by a Dr. Richard Seltzer called appropriately enough, "The Knife."  She went on to say in the essay the doctor describes everything about surgery; how it feels to handle such a delicate instrument and cut someone open.  I intent to track the essay down--it's sure to come in handy.
Tags: f train, public transportation, scalpel, the knife, writing
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