My city is hilly and my hood’s among its hilliest. The prevalence of split-levels along our streets is no accident. Take a walk from my house and it’s something like exercise; a bike ride is exactly like it. Thus, the purchase of a new jogging stroller wasn’t just a pricey way of carting the boys around. My wife brought it home yesterday and the boys couldn’t stay off of it. After dinner, we headed out.
We were on the last leg of our trek when my wife handed over the reins to me. We were at the top of a hill about to go down when the boy spoke.
“Let go, Daddy.”
“How will you stop?”
I had Tyler Durden in the stroller. Quit trying to control everything and just let go.
And so I did. Gravity instantly took over, pulling the stroller away from my hands and urging it downhill, faster and faster. The boys screamed, thrilled by the sensation of moving under the control of no power but physics. Ashley and I watched the stroller careening away from us.
“Pretty smooth ride, huh?” she asked.
“Yeah, looks like it.”
At the bottom of the hill, I could see a car parked at the curb in front of our neighbor’s house. Our stroller was gaining speed and appeared to be on a collision course. Inside, its little passengers cried out their mad joy for all to hear.
“Okay” Ashley said. “That’s enough.”
She pulled her iPhone from her pocket and scrolled across a few icon-filled pages until she found the teleporter app she had downloaded the week before. The free version.
“How do you like that one so far?” I asked.
“It’s okay. Not sure I want to pay for it, though. It’s got some problems.”
She tapped a few keys on the screen and disappeared. From where she had been standing, bits of fabric fell to the asphalt. She reappeared at the bottom of the hill directly in front of the parked car, just in time to catch the stroller that I had just set free not twenty seconds ago. It was very smooth, very tai-chi, the way she absorbed the motion of the speeding stroller and redirected it. I picked up the pieces of fabric from the street and strolled down the hill.
“Nice catch,” I said. The boys were laughing, still giddy from the ride. I handed her bra and panties over to her
“Oh dammit,” she said, taking them from me. “I wish they’d fix that stupid bug.”
“I hear it’s fixed in the pay version.” I said. “That’s how they get you.”