The Platform’s Edge
While waiting on the platform, Daria slid the bottom of her shoe over the yellow knobs on the floor and listened to the low sound it made. Of the eleven lines of perfectly placed yellow knobs, she could only pass her foot over the first three, that was the closest she ever got to being on the edge of the platform. But even as the tip of her shoe touched the third line she felt a gush of adrenaline about her body like a train passing through her veins without stopping. That sensation thrilled her but also made her feel out of control and vulnerable. One inch closer to the edge of the platform and she knew not what she might do, that train propelling through the veins in her brain, mixing with her blood, which was usually warm and calm. As it moved about her, that terrifying force, all her will and functioning might shatter. She imagined the edges of her nerves, the ones mostly dormant, being stimulated by this intruding thing coursing through her body. Perhaps she would lose the normal use of her hands and feet, like what happened to those people she watched on documentaries who took lethal drugs. She would never dare add a foreign chemical to her blood stream and never understood why people did that. Wasn’t everyone else like her, wanting to control their lives, not lose control of it? She liked to know what she was saying, and why and how she was saying it. Same with her actions. She liked to decide herself how much risk she was willing to take. Anyway, she found risk unappealing. Unless that feeling of a train zooming around her body was a type of appeal. She thought that for a second, that maybe it was the thing that appealed to her most, life beyond the yellow line, life at the edge of the platform. Deep in thought, she hadn’t noticed that her toe was on the seventh line of yellow knobs, almost to the edge of the cautionary marker on the floor. A train rushed by without stopping, pushing air into her mouth, blowing knots into her hair and giving her such a fright that she jumped back, tripped on her own foot and fell onto her rear. Right then and there, heart racing and cheeks flushed with the red of embarrassment, Daria promised herself never to toy with those yellow knobs on the ground or with the idea that risk is at all appealing.