"Those were hard things for me to come by, and I offer them to you for what they may be worth." - Toby Wolff



Monday, July 2, 2012

The Stroller




The women all have sundresses and strollers. A stroller comes with a husband and a baby. If you have a stroller, then the husband it came with has a steady job and affords you holidays. If you have a stroller, then you have a sun hat that matches the print on the baby's onesie, and the baby has little baby sunglasses and little baby shoes and everything is small and manageable.

You walk your stroller, with baby and husband in tow...your straight back saying "Look, look! I am really a writer, but just now I am managing my stroller!" There is no time to think outside this managerial occupation. Doing so creates a perilous environment where the wheel might come off the stroller. You might lean down to fix it and your sun hat would disengage itself from your head, and the wind would take it into another life where it will sit atop the head of a woman you never became. You will hardly notice its absence as your hands fidget apologetically with a broken stroller you do not know how to fix.

The baby cries because you have been still too long and the sun is beating down like the sun always does. Looking up, you beseech the sky, but it is what it is and there is no powerlessness like you against the sun. You reach to pull the canopy down, provide shade for him and obscurity for you, but he is wearing a suit and tie, and was actually just requesting a little help with this months rent.

"Ask your father! Can't you see I am busy with the stroller?"

He gives you a quizzical look that lets you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that your husband is dead, and you are old, and the stroller should have gone out of focus a hundred years ago. The canopy down, you drape a blanket over that. It is freezing, and seasons have passed behind your sidewalk workshop like freeway cars. Woosh! Woosh!

Somehow the stroller is fixed and you are not, and nothing is small or manageable. You straighten your back and push forward with your hatless head advertising silver hair. Your grandchild stops crying and begins to coo. "Look, look!" you tell her. "I was once a mother, but just now, I am managing my stroller."
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12 comments:

  1. Stunning analysis of what time takes away from us.

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    1. Not just time, but perhaps our tunnel vision about things. It was like Stepford a little bit there in Rehoboth. People stopped standing out. There was just stroller after stroller and helmeted bike rider after bike rider...runner after runner, but no one seemed unique, except my friend Kimmy of course. She's a gem.

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  2. and a stroller that represents a lifetime of hard work, of a life one helps to create and nurture, to carry on, to watch grow, suddenly the things in life that were once so important have not disappeared, but were simply replaced with who you were supposed to be all along, a mountain in someone elses eyes that represents strength.

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    1. The stroller could be so many things, as could the baby, as could the wheel!

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    2. I guess it depends on how you see things in life.

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  3. Kimmy is not the only one...

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  4. So very beautiful. Since I am soon to have my first grandchild, I will have the baby coo at me and I can coo and smile back. Stroller.....proudly pushed by gramma or grampa announcing to the world they have the most beautiful child ever.

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    1. I really look forward to that day. Proudly pushed. Good way to move the stroller!!!!

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  5. ...sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug...

    I can so relate to this, Annie. What I've learned through the years is to just keep on truckin' and to be here now. Fuck 'why'? I'm glad to be alive today because I ate a juicy, red tomato fresh off the vine in my front yard and it dripped down my chin onto my raggedy tee-shirt and made me laugh...a fucking fire ant bit me on the heel, but hey, that's life, right? I love you and your amazing writings. I'm just glad you're alive and scribblin' and are my BFF. xoxo

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    1. Heh heh Marion. So damn true. Both Bug and Windshield suffer...although one clearly deader than the other. ACK! I am morbid. *sigh*. I worked in a friends garden on Sunday. He brought me a plumb from a neighbors tree. It was so juicy and delicious and I was hot and muddy and ate that thing right from my mucky fingers full of earth. Yes...I surely dribbled :)

      Ants. Such pests. But lightening bugs? They are a gift.

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  6. glad to have you back:)

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  7. I. Love. This. One of my very favorites. Annie, Wow!

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Thank you for listening.