Monday, July 20, 2009

THE STROLLER

by Ambrosia

On mass transit today, I witnessed something that took the cake even for mass transit in New York City. A woman entered the bus with a child who was between 6 and 8 months. She placed the baby's stroller half way down the aisle close to me and non chalanty seats herself way up front in the designated handicapped seats. I didn't pay it any mind, thinking that the woman who was seated close to the stroller was with her. Then she started complaining out loud saying that if the stroller rolls on her foot, everyone is going to hear about it, the driver, the MTA, everyone. This woman kept repeating this phrase as some people agreed and snickered.

As the ride went on, people entering the bus kept bumping into the lone stroller. It kept getting knocked around until it found a home right next to me. As more people piled into the bus trying to get around this stroller, they started saying, 'Sorry' to me as they brazenly knocked the stroller about some more. I ignored them and decided to examine the mother who was holding her bouncing baby boy. He was all smiles, quite jovial while she had this blank, almost dead look on her face. She gave off a mixture of anger and despair with despair winning by a mile. She was spaced out. I tried to get her attention to ask her politely if the stroller was hers but she looked in my direction and stared off into space again. Her expression did not move.

Apparently at this point, some new bus rider, ignorant to the owner of the stroller started to complain about me. The original boisterous woman explained very loudly, "That's not her stroller. That's hers. And if that stroller runs over my toe, they're going to hear from me...!" I peered outside the window as the bus pulled up to a very busy stop and saw a bunch of people waiting to come in. I forsaw a very disruptive situation as this new herd of people would simultaneously meet, "The Stroller". I got up to get the mom's attention and asked her if the stroller was hers again. She actually noticed me this time as I stood and just nodded twice so lifelessly it was pitiful. Then I tried to drag it to her quickly before the impatient people from outside who were already pushing each other to get in first, started pouring in. The stroller, which was an expensive, high quality one, was on some super breaks because I couldn't move it.
I decided to lift it up and as I did and started to go over to the mother with my bag falling off my shoulder and my phone (as I spoke to Epiphany) falling from between my shoulder and my cheek, the first person to enter the bus, a diva-like young lady, simply stood there between me and my destination, giving me this look as to say, 'How dare you stand in my way with your stroller." If looks could kill.

Anyway, I could feel anticipation shoot forth from everyone behind me who became acquainted with "The Stroller". The whole bus got quiet. This girl would not move. She seemed to prefer to just stand there, staring at me. I then said, "Excuse me", then lo and behold, she got the point and moved out of the way.
I said to the mom, "I don't know where you want me to put this stroller exactly, but I'll put it here for you." With that I placed the stroller in front of her. There was no thank you but somehow I wasn't expecting it. Like I said, the mother was unfortunately spaced out as her happy baby smiled and bounced around her lap.

The next stop was hers. I watched her place the baby boy in the stroller. She walked out of the bus like a zombie floating on a cloud. Instead of lifting the stroller to get down the stair, she pushed it and it inclined so steeply, I thought the baby might fall out. I saw a woman's face crumple up in fear. I could see her mouth, "Oh my God". Then as if nothing happened, the mother continued to push the baby in its infamous stroller down the street. I was mortified. Epiphany suggested I call the cops. When I got out at my stop about 5 minutes later, I approached an officer in a parked car and he told me that nothing can be done. Her whereabouts are a mystery and there is not enough information to attempt to find her. I just hope that I don't hear any stories on the news involving an innocent baby being hurt by its mom. Although I know worst stories than this happen everyday, as I was reminded by another friend of mine, it just hurts to see potential for child neglect in front of you. I prayed for the innocent baby boy and for the mother as well. We don't know what she is going through.

Human nature sucks sometimes. I don't know who was worse, the boisterous woman, the people pushing the stroller with anger, the people pushing each other to get into the bus, the diva girl or the woman who obviously needed help but no one could see through their dense glasses. Another day on New York City mass transit.

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