Saturday, 3 February 2018

Footnote (write of passage number forty-seven)

The first thing I see is what I take to be a hand.  It's stretching out of the stroller parked in the bay a few seats ahead of me, the digits are curling to grip the rim.

That's when I realize that what I'm looking at is the foot of a really young baby with really, really prehensile toes.  What I mistook for a chubby wrist is, in fact, a chubby ankle.  The foot kicks back into the air to join another foot, and tiny hands grasp pearly pink toes.

The mum, propped against a window, leans over to coo.  She is snazzily dressed for a new mother - a little black dress cinched in impossibly tight with a wide leather belt, as if to say:  "See?  I'm just as slender as I was!"

She rings the bell in deepest darkest New Edinburgh, near the expensive houses that look out over the Rideau River.  She pushes the stroller toward the front door, but is instructed by the driver to back out, for safety's sake.

She apologizes profusely and turns, heading up the aisle past my seat.

I gently say to her, "He meant 'back out', not 'back door', while the driver is calling back much the same thing.

"Oh, I'm sorry, sorry...." she gasps, flustered.  The stroller is huge, and she knocks a sippie cup loose against the railing, grimacing in embarrassment.

I'm startled to see another pair of baby legs, as she retreats in confusion -- these are much longer and larger -- the stroller is two-tiered.

My goodness, I think.  Irish twins?  No wonder she can't think straight.

And maybe she's really, really hungry.

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