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DoorsNovember 23, 2004

Boy, I'm so lucky. I'm always learning. You know how they say that's a good thing? Keeps your mind snappin' and blows away those old mental cobwebs, that's what they say.

I learned this yesterday: BART doors are not like elevator doors. Betcha didn't know THAT, didja? And if you did, don't tell me.

Lala's superpower is to make the train leave just as she reaches the platform. Me, on the other hand, I've usually arrived just as the train is pulling in. (But I have no parking karma, so it evens out.) Yesterday, however, I heard the train pulling in as I was going up the escalator. I ran up, up, up, and got to the doors just as they were closing. They have rubbers bumpers on them, just like elevator doors. So I did what I do with elevators: I stuck my hand in between the doors.

Let me say it again: BART doors are not like elevator doors. I was standing there, with my hand caught tightly (and rather painfully) in the door, people inside the car gaping with horror at my little fingers grasping at air. I think we all had a mental image of the train starting to roll. Two people leapt up and tried to pry the doors open. I learned later that the conductor can tell if a door is open and will look out her window and pop the doors, which she did. I fell into the car, trying not to clutch my poor mangled hand (it wasn't, but it felt like it was), and had to face approximately nine thousand concerned, shocked faces. "Oh, it didn't hurt! Isn't that weird? It didn't shut hard. [Yes, it did.] It was just surprising. No, I'm fine! Yes, I'm glad I didn't die. Yes, I'm sorry your child is crying. Yes, it IS a tragedy narrowly averted, thanks for reminding me. 'Preciate that."

I meandered as casually as possible to the back of the car, having these conversations with, like, EVERYONE, and then at the next stop, I (carefully) changed cars. I needed the pitying stares to stop. (My hand is fine, by the way. My pride will take about a week to catch up with the hand.)

I think I blushed all the way to Powell Street. There I met Brian-Mark, where we caught up with each other to the tune of a $110 lunch (!) and a bottle of wine each. Each, mind. O joy merlot divine. In Venice,  I met him on a boat, and in the one minute of conversation we had, I got his room number at the Hotel Rialto. I left him a note later, and the next day I picked him up in the lobby. We wandered the city together for the next two days. Yesterday, I picked him again in a hotel lobby, and we wandered another city, marveling at our luck, and admiring each other, and the way we managed to meet each other in the most romantic city in the world, the lesbian and the queer boy, walking the narrow streets above the canals, arm in arm. Yesterday was a lovely, lovely afternoon. And I was hungover by 6pm.

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Comments

see, in boston, no one would have even looked at your little hand grasping for air and life... and once safely on the train, no one would have inquired about your well being ... well perhaps i might have.

Hung over by 6? That is what I call a lovely afternoon (or at least well-buzzed by 6). I have my friends who I drink with on occasion and those I drink with on every occasion. With one in particular, we never intend to get that way-it just happens and we're always in trouble by around 6!

I can only imagine how rosy your cheeks were after that lunch :)

OK, WHERE did you go to lunch? Wine at lunch will definitely make you a complete waste of a person for the rest of the day...for that matter, too many mai tai's at brunch will also do that. Didn't realize how strong Bart doors are...at least you got help. And those people have a funny story to tell last night. I have these horrible nightmares about elevator doors and losing limbs.

Ow. Just. Ow.

And Maryse is exactly right.

My daughter got her arm caught in the subway door in a similar way and we had to push the emergency stop strip to be sure the train didn't leave. Pushing the strip stops the train, and calls 911.

Everyone felt sorry for Emma (who was 3) and we had to put up with the bad parent looks and the emergency personnel (who were really nice) and do a police report. Emma was mostly surprised at all the attention.

I wish I would have had a bottle of merlot after that.

I loves me some good merlot. Two glasses, tho, are about all I can take. :) Here in Atlanta, we would have all had to talk to you, too. :)

For your future travels, know that the Paris metro does the same thing. Try being embarrassed in a foreign language... My husband, children and luggage made it into the car while only my leg and wrist did. My husband gallantly tried to wrestle the metro door open with his suitcase until a kind Parisian nonchalantly touched the door open button. The humiliation of riding with all these chic Parisians while I was covered with grease and my children rode several seats ahead of me still causes a riotous blush.

See, around here, if you'd let the doors close in your face instead of throwing a body part in there, everyone on the train would have been quietly thinking, "Wuss." Or something that kinda sounds like that.

A kiss for your aching fingers, my sweet.

(public transportation) MWAH!

ow, poor hand! I've done the same thing, only from INSIDE the crowded train, trying desperately to shove my gigantic backpack far enough in the car so it wouldn't keep the doors from closing. Finally another passenger had to hold my nalgene bottle out of the way. Dirty looks abounded, but luckily I was only going one stop! :)

Nothing, really, except that I find you delightful! What fun to read of your adventures!

OUCH!!!!

Metro's the same way. It is not like an elevator door. But, on the other hand, you had a lovely, lovely afternoon and that's all that really matters.

What Cari said, but I should add that had you been stuck like that on an MTA subway, what Maryse says about Boston goes for New Yorkers as well. You got yourself into that mess, you get yourself out.

My poor Rachael and her mangled hand.

I love the story behind Brian-Mark.

Geez...the nice queer boys I know take me to Subway....I'll have to share with them that SOME lesbians have COOL ex-PORNO-queer-boy-friends who take THEM to $100 lunches.....glad you had a good time AND got to keep your hand!

All the Boston and New York ladies get a ditto from me.

I probably would have asked you how you were, but then I grew up in San Jose. :)

I once stopped the T doors from closing with my, um, chest. Owwie.

Hope your fingers (and pride) are all better soon.

Yeah, BART is like the direct polar OPPOSITE of the NYC subway. It's clean, folks LINE UP in an orderly fashion, wait for people to get off before getting on...yada yada yada. At least you didn't lead with your head, you only have one of those.

Lunch and your pal sound divine! Venice and SF are indeed the most romantic cities I've even seen. Where'd you eat?

What immediately comes to mind is this PSA that used to air in the 70's about what NOT to do when using the MTA; one of the cautionary (and very gritty) vignettes showed a guy jamming his briefcase into the closing subway doors and being dragged along the platform when the train started moving. Scary stuff, though I'm sure this kind of thing never actually happened, and was only done for dramatic effect. Hey, it worked on me - - I used to JUMP when those doors opened, to make sure I got through in time.

Glad you didn't sustain any serious injury.

First, I am so glad you are ok and the hand wasn't hurt. : )

Second, I'm sitting here eating my lunch and reading your blog with tears running down my face from laughing so hard. I am sorry.... really I am. Its just I've had similiar things like that happen to me. Of course, I not only blush but wish the ground would crack open and swallow me up at that very moment. It sounds like you at least had a wonderful time with your friend. I hope you have a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving as well. Take good care....

P.S. I didn't know that about BART doors either.

I was already all too familiar with the differences between elevator doors and BART doors. And the occasional rogue bus door. Damn public transportation, always trying to maim us.

Rachael - I love your blog, and always read it, but this one makes me want to say - awwwwwwwwww. that story about you and Brian-Mark just brought tears to my eyes, how incredibly sweet!

You are so funny.

And a bottle each at lunch? Ah, the decadent life! Beautiful.

Poor hand. Bad doors. Come catch the SkyTrain in Vancouver, B.C., and our doors will happily open for you if you stick a body part in their way.

Okay, I know that chances are nobody will read this, because it's now August, and this post is from last November. But still. I just wanted to clear something up - not all elevator door open when they close on something. I have heard horror stories of people's arms and (this might be an urban legend) heads being ripped off. The arm thing is true, though, I think - the wife of a friend of mine witnessed it. So, don't stick your arm, head, leg, etc. (particularly etc.) into between closing elevator doors. Though I think it's okay to keep your hand on the door to keep it from beginning to close. IT's only once they're going that they're lethal, and maybe not all elevator doors. Whew. Glad your hand was not ripped off!! hard to knit one-handed.

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