Parable of the Baby Carriage
There was a young couple arguing on the street, downtown Oakland. Two young girls were with them, one in a baby carriage and the other tagging along in silent terror. As they crossed the street, an old white woman was shouting at the young man to stop talking so disrespectfully to the woman who appeared to be his wife or partner, she was obviously the mother of the children, but it is not clear he was the father, more than likely he was the father of maybe one child, but we don't know for sure.
The man turned around to tell the old white lady to stay out of his business, that he was talking to "his woman," and she needed to get out of his mix. The old white man was persistent: she continued telling him not to be so disrespectful with his speech.
After crossing the street, she went her way as the couple continued fussing and cussing at each other, with the children along for the roller coaster ride they appeared accustomed.
At one point the man tried to take off with the baby in the carriage, but the woman snatched the baby out the carriage and grabbed her other little girl by the hand, leaving the man standing with the empty carriage.
Now that she had herself and the children safely in hand, we thought she would go her way. But she immediately got on her cell phone and called him. He had gone down into the BART station with the baby carriage.
On the phone, she begged him to bring back the carriage because she had her baby's Pampers in it. She told him she wished he would quit tripping and acting stupid because she didn't have time to play, she had to pick up her son at school in a little while. She told him she couldn't understand why he was tripping and that if he came over more often he could call the shots. For now, would he please bring the carriage with the Pampers so she could go handle her business.
Though she begged and pleaded, the man never returned with the carriage. He didn't know that not only were the baby Pampers in the carriage, but her little money was stashed there as well--or maybe he did, maybe that's why he took the carriage.
She walked up the street, baby in one arm, holding the hand of the little girl. She knew she couldn't waste much time with her "man" because she had to pick up her son from school, and if she were late again, the school had warned her they were going to call Child Protective Services who might take her son.
She disappeared up the street, torn between getting her money out the carriage and getting her son from school. We don't know if she ever caught up with "baby daddy" or her "man."
A story from Plato Negro's classroom, 14th and Broadway, downtown Oakland.