Image Source: rnolan187
It seemed like a good idea at the time.
It’s a Sunday in late August, 1999, in a North Shore suburb of Boston: the first Sunday that screams football rather than dog days. Aside from grocery shopping, I am looking forward to a day of leisure close to home.
The major grocery store is less than a mile away and on a bus route. But I’m suddenly craving a latte from Curious Liquids, across from the State House on Beacon Hill. There is another major grocery store in the lobby of the Prudential Building, which is only a few subway stops beyond the coffee shop. I can get my latte and take a Sunday stroll through the Public Garden. Well, hell, why not.
I take the bus to the train. Because grocery shopping is limited to my at-the-time non-existent cooking skills, I don’t need to worry about perishables, so my plan is to go shopping, then walk back across the Garden and Boston Common to get my latte.
The train is fairly crowded, so I’m standing and holding the bar. In front of me is a pair of giggling girls in full-on Tokyo street style gear. Behind me is a Korean couple seated with their baby in a stroller in the aisle.
We pull into Arlington, quickly. We pull out of Arlington, quickly: a little too quickly for the crazy-sharp corner beyond the station. Suddenly gravity is in play!
The jerk of the train sends me flying backwards, and I land with a thud. Upon landing, I turn on my knees to pick myself up, and it occurs to me that my fall has been broken.
Then it occurs to me that my fall has been broken by the baby in the stroller.
Baby looks up at me. He looks a little sad, but nothing major. But the realization that I have just CRUSHED A BABY hits, and I start screaming “OHMYGODIKILLEDHIM!!!” So now baby starts screaming along with me.
Dad picks baby up out of the stroller, holds him up to the light for inspection and shakes him a few times. Upon passing inspection, dad smiles at me, holds baby up for my inspection and says, “No no, baby fine! Baby fine!”
Meanwhile the Tokyo street girls are in a panic, and the eyes of the rest of the train are staring at anything but me. An air of “glad I’m not HIM” permeates the train.
And what do I say here? “Sorry I almost killed your baby, here’s a quarter?”
No, there’s nothing I can say. All I can do is get off the train and cross over to the other side and back home. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but no latte or box of mac & cheese could compete with a crushed baby.