5'oclock on a Friday Afternoon

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I am sitting on the leather seats on the train coming home from work on Friday afternoon. I left all my reading material at home, and I have nothing to do. Anxiety, however, engulfs my body. At home, I have to clean the kitchen and do the laundry. This work is very time consuming, and I want to have time with my kids: Michael, Laura, and Becky. Michael is seven-years-old and is very wild. He runs around the house with a bat ramming the furniture to the ground. Every time I request for him to stop, he always sticks out his tongue at me to show refusal. His room is a mess, and I literally can't see the floor. Piles of dirty clothes envelop the floor. A smell diffuses from his room and spreads to the hallways. I am extremely nervous to see what trouble he has created when I come home. Laura is ten-years-old and is quite the opposite of Michael. She cleans her room everyday and always follows the rules. I wish Michael will learn to be like her. People always complement me on my child, Laura. They say that she is the most well-mannered child they have ever met. When people discover that Michael is her brother, they almost faint in astonishment. My oldest child Becky who is sixteen has a mind of her own. She is barely ever home and is always out partying. This past year, she has had at least five boyfriends, all whom I am not fond of. When I discovered she pierced her tongue, I realized that I have no control over her. My children are a mix, ranging from rebellious to rule-abiding.

My day at work was pretty stressful, and I hope not to gain more stress at home. For now, I'll just relax on my train-seat and look at the sundry other people who are on the train. What can their lives be like?

I notice a young boy, about two, lying asleep dreaming.

zzzzz. I am flying in the air, with the wind blowing in my face. Boom Boom. I shoot fire down to the city beneath me, destroying it and killing many people. Flames shoot up... Vroom Vroom. I am racing the flaming hot car. All those by-standing watch and are all puzzled. I am going faster and faster. I veer left then right. The wind is blowing in my face. My mouth tightens. I am about to finish and win the race. Tommy, wake up. It's our stop.

I immediately direct my focus to this old lady wearing a magenta scarf. She seems in a daze.

Oh Lord, I forgot to knit my little grandchildren outfits for the winter. When it's my stop, I must go directly to the yarn store and buy yarn. Oh Lord, I forgot to buy groceries for the weekend. I need to stop by the market and get apples, oranges, bread, and butter. Oh Lord, I forgot my son's birthday. I must go to CVS and buy him a card. I hope he won't be too angry. Oh Lord, is it my stop?! Oh Heaven, did I forget that too?

The old lady exits the train, while a little girl and her dog board the train. The dog is barking without control. Something must be on this poor animal's mind.

Uh oh. I have to have my weekend bath when we get home. The little girl scrubs so deeply and makes my skin feel all itchy. She then brings over her little friends and they have this party bathing me. Boy, do I dread this day. I hope if I bark, she will recognize that it is because of the upcoming bath. Even when the bath is over, I still have to suffer. She dresses me up in a bow and a dress. Does she even know that I am a male?! And the food that she feeds me. Gross! I am convinced that she is feeding me manure. Why would she feed me something if she would never eat it herself. I am going to continue barking until she finally realizes that she must treat me better.

The girl is very much concerned of her dog's welfare. She strokes him repeatedly and asks him what is wrong.

My dog keeps on barking. I hope he knows that I love him. I am so concerned about him. He just doesn't stop barking. His throat must be hurting. He can't be barking because I am going to give him a bath. He must love it. He has all the attention in the world. I even bring my friends along to show off my dog. I even give him the most expensive dog food in the world. His life is like heaven. I wonder what has gotten him to be barking like this.

A man is wearing a tie with many musical notes on it. I stare at it and am amazed at the ties' uniqueness.

La La La. I stoodin the orchestra in the front row playing the flute. The sound was so joyful and lively. I saw the audience amazed by the sounds that they heard. B flat. C sharp. Violin. Clarinet. Flute. We all came together to make this great sound. What an experience. When my day ends, I have to face the dread at home. My wife and I are very close to having a divorce. She only values shopping for clothes, while I value the more important things in life. She believes that I overreacted when I discovered that she spent three-fourths of our income on clothes and jewelry. How does she expect for me to pay for the mortgage? I was appalled by her neglect. Everyday we speak only words of criticism to each other. I feel bad for our kids who watch us fight all the time. I am just in a bad financial situation because of my wife's silly expenditures. She doesn't even have a job and believes that she has control over all the money. I never despised someone, but I do now – my wife. I am not excited to see her when I come home.

In front of this man, sits a middle-aged mother. She has many Triple-A books in her hand of California. She flips through the books.

San Francisco. What is there to do there? Lets look up Recreation. Oh look, maybe my kids will like the Golden Gate Park. There are many hike trails, bike trails, and fishing ponds. My daughter, Stacey, won't like that. Aha! San Francisco has the largest Chinatown in the United States. Stacey will love it. They sell so many things there. Which hotel should we stay at? The Holiday Inn seems nice and affordable. It has a heated outdoor pool! My kids will definitely have a great time. I can't wait to get home and tell them about our next vacation.

Finally, it is my stop. I want to go to the coffee shop to have a drink, but I relize that will be too much of a delay because I have so much work to do when I gohome. I do not know where to start, and the thought of all the work is menacing. If only my kids will surprise me and clean up some of the house. I am so exhausted that I almost trip on my way out. I walk home, hoping that fortune will come my way.





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