NYC, 1990

Have I told you all about my little bus experience?

Very fun (in a macabre way)

When I lived on 92nd Street, I would visit my sister on 112th street, and then get a bus that went right down Broadway to my apartment. This particular night (in 1990) I ran to catch the bus, but it was OK because a very slow person was getting on in front me. I noticed that he had holes in his clothes, and I could see his red underpants.

When I got on the bus, this other guy and me were the only passengers, with a woman bus driver. The guy was obviously delirious with drugs or whatever, and he practically passed out sitting right in the front.

The bus began its journey. After just about a minute, I noticed a little pool of blood on the floor beneath the guy’s seat. I got up and said to the bus driver “um, this guy is bleeding.” She stopped the bus, came back to the guy, said “hey, are you OK?” but he was only semi-conscious. Then she did the unthinkable — she unzipped his windbreaker, and pulled it open. His abdomen was a mass of stab wounds, flesh, blood, and torn shirt. So she just… zipped the jacket back up, and then she said to me “I’m going to call the paramedics — you stop the bleeding.”

Yeah, me, stop the bleeding. I put my hands on this guy (on top of his jacket) and prayed that I wouldn’t get any on me (I know, real heroic, eh?)

The paramedics arrived very quickly, and they took him off the bus into an ambulance, and our bus driver started up the bus again.

We made some stops, and at one of them, two elderly ladies got on, and one of them said “Oh, Gladys dear, don’t sit there dear, it’s BLOODY,” like one has to choose between a bloody and a dry seat every day.

I got off at my stop, and called my sister, and it turned out, the whole thing took 15 minutes.


8 Responses to NYC, 1990

  1. Susan M says:

    That’s a great story. Reminds me of an Emo Philips joke:

    New York’s such a wonderful city. Although I was at the library today. The guys are very rude. I said, “I’d like a card.” He says, “You have to prove you’re a citizen of New York.” So I stabbed him.

  2. TIM says:

    HA, that’s funny.

    I was held up, twice, in New York in the 80s and 90s. The first time was down by Port Authority, west of Times Square. I was held up by some kids who had sharpened screwdrivers for weapons (apparently if they got caught, this meant a lesser sentence).

    The second time was on 109th and Riverside Drive in about 1992; I was walking down the drive to an Oscars party.

  3. Heather O. says:

    Ooh, this just makes me want to leave my idyllic, small town life and move immediately to New York City! Wonder why they didn’t include things like, “And all the teenagers answering back, with weapons less extreme” in the song “NYC” from Annie.

  4. dfletcher says:

    Another good story, from 1994:

    Going to work one morning, on the #1 subway train from the Upper West Side to Chelsea, on our car was a homeless person who smelled very bad, lying on the floor between the two rows of seats. All of the sudden, he stood up and started to shout “Oh NO, oh NO,” and then he dropped his pants and spewed diarrhea out on the train floor (and some passengers). The train continued on its merry way, and after about 1 minute, 3 passengers threw up.

    When I got to work, I said “I’ve just seen the very worst thing I’ve ever seen on the subway,” and one of my co-workers said, very blasé, “somebody die?”

  5. danithew says:

    Your experience with someone who has been stabbed brings experiences to mind …

    I was in Guatemala, while on my mission. There was an area that was basically a huge ghetto with very narrow alleyways throughout called the Limonada. Missionaries who went into the Limonada to visit investigators often left behind all possessions of any value. I only went into the Limonada once, to pick up some investigators. I only went there once because I was on a split — it wasn’t normally my area. Anyway, my zone leaders lived right near an entrance to the Limonada (cars could not get in there) and one day I was going to their apartment and a man was walking up out of the Limonada, very calmly. He was holding his stomach because he had been stabbed. He was walking out of the Limonada to meet the ambulances because ambulances could not get to him there.

    I also knew someone else in Guatemala who had been stabbed while being mugged. He had some surgeries and we went to visit him. The biggest problem was that we were friends and he had been told it was a good idea not to laugh, since that would put additional pressure on his healing wounds (besides the fact that it would hurt). He would start laughing anyway and then say “oh man … stop it … it hurts it hurts!”

  6. joel says:

    There should be a book, if there isn’t already, “Unbelieveable but True NYC Transit Stories”. I too have my fair share of crazy South American stories but so far the strangest thing I’ve seen in NYC was a homeless man get on the subway–wearing nothing more than a towel, and pushing a grocery cart. How’d he get that cart all the way down there?!

  7. dfletcher says:

    Dan, my sister-in-law is from Guatamala. My brother Russ served his mission there, which is where they met.


  8. wagi says:

    I remember when I got jumped in NYC for my jacket, 8 against 1 and yet they were never able to get my jacket because of my girlish screams (yes I’m a guy who screams like a girl).

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