Commercial Drive was quiet, dark and damp as I walked my way home. I hoped the lone pair of headlights driving past would slow so the sound of its puttering engine could cut the silence for a little longer. When I turned off onto my street I saw it––an empty baby stroller in the middle of the sidewalk, no baby or parent in sight. This should generally be an eerie omen but I took it as inspiring.
What if that baby was just fed up with being a babbling idiot, spoon-fed the pablum of the masses, and had decided to pick itself up by it’s OshKosh B’Gosh booty straps, walk out of that stroller and grow up? Maybe that baby just took initiative? It’s not that hard to form the vowels and consonants needed to call a cab for you and your mother––I can do it. And I probably could’ve done it sooner if I wasn’t held back by the societal confines we place on babies––all the oohing and awing and foam covers on coffee table corners. I spilled beer on the sidewalk while applauding the baby for its courage to overcome. I was imagining it applying online for a job as a software engineer at Hootsuite when the other beer in my pocket overturned, soaking the front of my pants.
ACT 1 SCENE 1
It’s nighttime on the street outside of my apartment building. The cherry trees have just blossomed and hang like clustering sprites overtop of us in the moonlight.
Enter WOMAN 1, WOMAN 2 and ME.
WOMAN 1: (slurring words) Hey! You know this car?
WOMAN 1: You like this car?
ME: I’m not really a Subaru fan––is something going to happen to that car?
WOMAN 1: I can’t see into the future, I’m no wizard. Do I look like a wizard?
WOMAN 2: (snickers behind the car)
ME: (looks closely to confirm that she is not in fact a wizard) No.
WOMAN 1: (yelling) Then get outta here! We’re just a couple of muggles out on a Tuesday!
ME: (skates off to the entrance of the apartment building)
I hear a loud crunch, followed by a booming second impact––this one accompanied by a tinkling of glass shards on the pavement that sounds like a rush of radio static.
1. Maybe he just ate some greasy food, say an entire Butterball Turkey, and his hands were too oily to hold onto the cigarette package.
2. Perhaps he is just leaving it in the gutter for later.
3. He might be in a hurry to quit smoking so he can start vaping and wasn’t able to wait to find a garbage can.
4. It could have been his mother’s dying wish for him to be travel the world, discarding refuse on the ground at any available moment.
5. It may be a ruse to bait Captain Pollution into believing he is on his side so he can become a confidant and gather crucial strategic information for Captain Planet.
6. Maybe he didn’t drop the cigarette package, the cigarette package dropped him.
7. He could be pregnant.
8. He might be stronger than me.
9. I could just say something but I don’t really want to be “that guy.”
10. I’m hungry and really should get home and make those perogies.
I knew the allergy medicine was in another aisle but I couldn’t help but continue scrutinizing the effectiveness of competing antacids by shaking them around so I could watch over my shoulder as you browsed through the condoms. You held an elderly finger out like a divining rod and scanned the surprisingly large shelf, stocked with varieties and flavours I’d never heard of or would dare put on. A shaky digit hovered over a package that boasted it would “deliver warming and tingling sensations to both partners.”
From what I understood about the aging process, the body’s skin loosens and sags over time. If you weren’t circumcised I imagine your foreskin would be like a sweater with sleeves too long for the arms––you could probably just tie a knot with the excess and keep your pennies in your pocket. I thought about suggesting it when you found water and grabbed a box of Magnum: Ribbed. Whether due to envy or curiosity, there was never a moment in my life where I wanted to see an old man’s penis more.