Sunshine, cool breeze, pot of coffee down and crawling slowly up towards the base of the spine– pretty good for an earlyish morning walk to work… Passed Buena Vista and caught the locals cracking their breakfast 40oz.

Still confused despite the coffee and the shower and the leisure hour before needing to hurry to do anything… As I’m walking a woman is approaching with a stroller while dangling a four or five year old from one shoulder– they are catalogued as probable obstacles to be observed closer to contact and my thoughts wander off. When I check back on their progress they’ve started crossing the street I’m coming up on and I scan the terrain for my maneuvering. The four or five year old has succeeded in detatching himself from the more traditional piggy-back position to a semi-simian swinging down the woman’s back… One arm has been reached back so that she can contain the child… I give myself a wider berth than originally intended and wander off into my head again…

As they come up to the curb, as I come up to the corner, I notice that the four or five year old has begun sliding down the woman’s back and she reached with both hands to contain him… This leaves the stroller free to ride the slight incline of the street towards the gutter and it begins to explore the possibilities of motion with timid steps… She looks up from her wrestling match and gauges the stroller’s progress, then turns around to remove the little parasite completely from her back… I guess she’s got it, right?

But she didn’t have it at all and when I finally reached that conclusion and began running towards the stroller it had hit ideal velocity so as to elude both of our outstretched grasps… From a foot away, leaning forward and clutching at air, I watch the stroller collide with the curb and pitch forward– I catch a brief but detailed glimpse of a little blonde toddler whipping forward like a boneless chicken at a clown convention just before the arc had completed and the toddler and stroller slammed face-first into the sidewalk… Not very good with public speaking I tried a very loud and robust “Jesus!”…

Both the woman and I grab the stroller but we have different ideas about how to raise it from the sidewalk… My gentle lifting did not suffice and she instead chose to yank the handle back so that the boneless chicken baby inside whipped backwards with such violence my little lizard brain forced my arms out to grab the head of the child and steady it… There I am cradling some baby’s head as it begins howling– I let go of the kid… The woman is standing shocked, gaping, unsure– the four or five year old is staring at me with eyes of true hatred…

A cookie is inserted to the screaming baby and the howls stop… Red in the face, damp cheeked, but lacking obvious signs of trauma the baby begins to cover its face with crumbs… The woman looks at me and says, “I guess the carriage must have protected him somehow” and continues to stand and gape… I check the four or five year old who has not yet forgiven my existence and continues to glare at me in an attempt to cause spontaneous combustion… I find myself on one knee gathering little toys and baubles which have spilled out onto the ground in the crash… The happy little trio rambles off the way they were going… A woman halfway up the street I was crossing calls out, “Is the baby okay?” I guess so…

In other news I’ve recently signed up as a member of shelfari which resembles myspace for people who don’t have any personalities and try to impress everyone with their book collections… It might just be stupid but it could also be a way to share books you’re reading and find out about things that might interest you… It’s free and it doesn’t appear to have any evil corporate ties beyond the obvious amazon linkage… Sign up if you like and learn me some– my member ID should be familiar enough…

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