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.
My name is Molly. Every workday I board the 7:32 from Tinley Park to the Loop. I fold and unfold – fold and unfold – my train schedule and sink into the beige, cracked, vinyl coach seat on the aisle away from the window. Better to meditate or be with my thoughts than watch urban concrete flash by and be grabbed by black fingers of darkness that try to reach from the underground terminal – through the windows into the train – to envelope me – at the end of the line.
What will distract me today? I finger my hair. Should have brushed before I boarded. Memories of Momma and Daddy – after the explosion – the darkness – drift before me. No, I’ll only think pleasant thoughts.
Someday I’ll transfer in Blue Island to a different line with a view of Lake Michigan – Chicago’s golden morning sun and a brightly illuminated station at the end of the line. I’ll skip work that day – a grand time I’ll have. No routines or commitments will bother me. If I get off now – the next station – the last chance to transfer – someday could be today. No, I’ll be okay – I’ll ride one more time – to the end of this line.
Mr. businessman oh, do you hear
My siren call to bring you near
Or will you dress for the day
For your job or any way
She wants you to be
To come home to see
Another life to not include me
On the 8:10 I glance your way
Hoping to catch your eye to say
Be with me to lift away
Far away or anyway
I want you to be
To come back to see
Another life that will include me
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Richard Wilberg, MS, PLCC, ACC
Creativity Coach for Personal Fulfillment and Career Success
About the Author
Richard Wilberg writes fiction, creative non-fiction, self-help, and career counseling articles. He lives in Madison, Wisconsin.