There was one day, I think it was a Tuesday – it definitely was a work day because I remember it was morning rush hour – that an empty train pulled into Belmont station. Not “sort of empty but really I’m just happy it’s not suffocatingly crowded”; empty. And I was the only person waiting for the front train car when the train pulled in, so when I got on, I was alone. Just my lonesome self in a hundred person capacity car.
And as the first couple of stops passed without any new passengers joining me, I can only assume that the other passengers had the same thought I did. We weren’t going to make it to work that day. Was it the government that had hijacked the train? That seemed the most plausible explanation. The dozen or so other commuters that boarded the train that day, why had we all been selected? What made us so special?
As I got on, I did catch a glimpse of a girl boarding the next car down. She had long, auburn hair and wore a tan peacoat. Was she not what she seemed? Perhaps she was a bomb expert or a master of seven languages. Trapped in a job at Deloitte, barely using her communications degree from Depaul; was this the break she sought? The break she deserved?
But to single me out for my dapper appearance to be the face and de facto leader of the group, that wasn’t fair. I have a family. I’m not looking for a life of international espionage. Living a double life, lying every day to friends and family – to my wife and children, for God’s sake! I’m not made for that. I drive a family car!
Of course, the train eventually pulled into work and there was no grand governmental conspiracy. Life went on and I remained what I had always been: a family man and cubicle dweller. I was not trained to be part of an highly classified group of expertly trained spies, codename Jupiter.
No, that surely did not happen.