Lady With a Baby Carriage

30 Apr

I turned the corner.  The circus was in a new town.  It seemed like a town they had rolled into before, but I wasn’t sure.  A shop nearby was deserted.  The sky was a sultry gray.  I hated places and days like this.  The whole scene seemed so dismal.  A figure came into focus in front of the empty building.  Her face was familiar!  I couldn’t quite pinpoint who it was.  Her face was drawn and pale.  It was full of sorrow and stress.  The woman kept rocking a baby carriage back and forth in her rigid left hand.  Her knuckles were taught and white.  With longing in her dark eyes she said with a raspy voice, “I’m so tired.”  She looked like she hadn’t slept in weeks.  “I haven’t been able to rest since I had my baby boy.”  I peeked into the carriage.  The baby looked healthy and happy wrapped in many blankets.  A man rushed past us puffing on a cigarette.  He was the first human we had seen in a while.  “Hey mister!”, she shouted.  “Can I bum one?”  He looked irritated, but hesitantly handed her a smoke.  I don’t know why but I offered to take care of her baby for a day.  I felt so awful for her.  I told her that I could just watch him for a few hours.  She seemed very excited about this.  I offered her some of the whiskey I had in my bag.  She was also excited about that.  Then I thought about taking care of the baby.  I already had Perle at home.  She was enough of a responsibility, and my wooden leg was beginning to give me problems.  I had to retract my offer.  I felt bad, but at least she had whiskey to calm her nerves.  I was curious about her name, but I was afraid to pry.  With that, we said our good byes and went our separate ways.


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