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Human Folly

I saw a stupid mother on a short bus ride from my flat to work.

Actually, I saw her at the bus stop outside my flat. She was brown, round and gap-mouthed. At her breast was a newly-born that looked like a wrinkled doll. Newly-borns always looked wrinkled and horrible. Only a mother could love them in that state. Beside her was a pram. It held a calm baby. While we were waiting for the bus, she yapped with a middle-aged lady whom I took for her mother.

The bus came.

She boarded the double-decker with the newly-born and plonked herself beside the door. The lady pushed the pram into the side aisle AWAY from the mother. And she scooted off in a flurry of arms, handbag and "wait wait!!! Don’t close the door! I’m getting off!". The mother’s eyes were lidded, heavy, sleepy. She held her newly-born limply. She steely gazed at the front of the bus.

The bus rumbled forth.

The pram rolled back and forth in the side aisle. That stupid middle-age lady whom I mistook for the mother’s mother didn’t secure the pram! The plastic wheels bit at the ankles of standing commuters. Ironically they were the ones who prevented the pram from toppling and spilling its content.

The bus turned right.

The pram rolled some more. Only a young, petulant girl with headphones (think Fiona Xie in Calefare) held onto it with one finger as it twisted and rolled around the aisle. The kid in the pram was indifferent. I saw that he was busily gazing up at people. Through it all, his gap-mouthed mother looked straight ahead: steely, lidded, heavy and sleepy.

She probably forgot about the pram. I kept waiting for the pram to topple. For the mother to scream and cry. And for commuters to play blind, deaf and dumb. Oh wait, commuters are already doing that. Who’s going to look after her kid? Bus passengers or petulant girls with headphones? Perhaps that gap-mouthed mother would have wished differently if the pram had toppled over!

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