Friday, February 11, 2005

A baby stroller and a changing table

At first I thought it was strange to see the baby stroller parked by the curb. This is a residential neighborhood with no shops nearby. Yet day after day for almost a week, there it stayed. It wouldn't have been so perplexing if it hadn't been such a new-looking stroller. There was a cheerful cushioned liner to tenderly enfold an infant or toddler, and a matching protective hood hovered above the seat like a celestial ring of Cherubim. What caught my eye was that it appeared never to have been used. Then it was gone.

A day or two later, an equally new-looking wicker baby changing table appeared at the same curb where the stroller had once stood. It was outfitted in, yet again, a luxuriously thick mat. It would have made any baby happy to be changed and dressed on such a lovely table. Below the changing area were two open shelves displaying a matching fabric liner. After a few days, the matching mat and shelf liners disappeared, but the table remains.

If I were teaching a creative writing class, I would ask my students to imagine the story that went with these discarded items. Day after day, I looked at the stroller and changing table. What would prompt someone to set them out by the curb? In Japan, that's where people set their trash, but these were not put in the specified trash area. No, they were set there for someone to claim. But why? Was there no one this individual knew who could have used these two beautiful items? All young couples seem to know other expectant parents. Were they tainted in a way that made them unwanted? Is it possible that the joy of having a newborn was crushed by its tragic death?

I'll never know the answers to these questions.

1 comment:

beds said...

The Qs you asked are really unanswerable. Thanks for sharing this here.

- Herman Swan