“Oh, sorry,” I said. My tortoise-frame glasses flew from my nose into a volcano of papers that erupted from his arms as our shoulders collided.
“Oh it’s you,” Dr. Spencer snarled. He kneeled to gather his belongings. “Why don’t you watch where you’re going?”
Dr. Andrew drops a leopard frog into a Pyrex dish filled with cold water. He places the dish above a Bunsen burner. The frog’s cool green skin glows, an emerald in a crystal sea. Dr. Andrew sets the flame to boil. The frog leaps from the dish. Dr. Andrew returns the frog to the water and adjusts the flame to simmer. The frog drifts in the illusion of safety while the water boils.
West Allis, Wisconsin
“Call for Richard, call for Richard, call for Richard,” rings from the sidewalk below our home.
“There’s that pesky Bobby again,” Mother groans. She rises from the living room chair. “Why doesn’t he come to the door like everyone else?”
Dad would talk to anyone, even Kenny Rogers. No shit, Kenny Rogers. I was quite embarrassed actually. Not about meeting Kenny Rogers, but because of Dad’s chronic acts of friendship. He’d walk up to a stranger on the street with a familiar gambit, “Hi, I’m Wes Wilberg. What’s your name?”
A Different Headline
“Listen Kid, we all read the same story and write a different headline,” Oscar says. Steam from his cup of joe swirls between us. He flicks an ash from his Lucky Strike and looks at me. “The Common Council killed Urban Renewal tonight. The Feds asked Saginaw to clean up her act. That’s what my paper and I want our readers to know---”
About the Author
Richard Wilberg is a creativity coach, musician, photographer, and former business leader who lives in Madison, Wisconsin.