A Simple Red Stroller
Monday Morning Coffee time! I’m sitting here cradling a hot cuppa and enjoying the focused warmth of a space heater aimed at my legs. As I wrote in my last post, autumn seems to be the real start of many things. Even small things could trigger new projects or old things are seen with new eyes, inviting me to speculate on the life stories of people who pass by, the history of some old car that sits in the same place on the street month after month, or the forces of man and nature that made a tree look like it does.
What Was the Story Here?
One very recent morning I opened the blinds over the kitchen sink while I was making coffee and admired the early morning sunlight on that side of the house, which intensified the greenness of grass and leaves and the russetness of the brick walls of the theatre across the street. The coffeemaker gurgled and I continued in my half-asleep reverie when red made its way into my brain and I noticed a baby stroller sitting half on the sidewalk and half on the grass berm between the curb and walk. I looked up and down the street, but there were no cars, no people. How very odd.
It was not a fancy stroller, just a lightweight one that folded up like an umbrella. The seat was a cheerful bright red nylon fabric. It looked a bit forlorn, though, sitting by itself , abandoned. As the first cuppa coffee started its work, I did my speculating thing, imagining scenarios that would cause someone to leave a perfectly serviceable stroller right there, as if a little one wanted to get out and walk over to pick a dandelion and then just kept on walking.
Kept on walking? Or absconded? Should the police be notified? Was this a custody kidnapping? Settle down, I tell myself. Most likely someone was taking the baby to the park down the street, and then, getting ready to leave, was struggling with getting the baby into the car seat, and maybe getting one or two other very young ones buckled up and not run over, and in all the bustle left the stroller on the walk in much the same way as leaving a coffee on the roof of the car. Distracted. Tired.
They’ll come back for it, I told myself, they’ll retrace their steps and they’ll spot it where it was left.
But they didn’t.
Nobody took it, nobody looked at it, nobody bothered it. I asked Steve to take a picture of it, because it made me think of story lines. I also thought it was kind of cute, an almost minimalist baby stroller. The longer it sat there, the more it seemed it belonged to me. But I had no use for it and knew no one who did.
Trash day was coming up, and still no one came back for the stroller. Maybe I should donate it somewhere? I went out to take a closer look at it. It worked just fine, folded up easily, didn’t weight much, had brakes on the wheels, and the handles came up nice and high, much better than on the stroller I had for my son thirty years ago, which wasn’t designed for tall parents. Inexplicably and uncharacteristically, I decided the little red stroller was mine now and I folded it up and put it in the garage.
A couple days later my son had a day off and he came by for coffee as he often does; the three of us were talking about writing and stories and plot lines and blogs and then he announced he had some news.
It looks like I’ll have a use for that stroller, after all