Morning Mood

May 19, 2017
By , Boulder, CO

For most people, the classical piece “Morning Mood” is a relaxing, optimistic masterpiece. For Old Mrs. Margaret, however, it was the music of an alarm which untimely ripped her from her slumber and started her trudge through another lousy day. She awoke to the starved cries of her two cats, Harvey, Lord of the cardboard box and destroyer of couch cushions, and Donna, longstanding champion of the “I’m not paying any attention to you” game, in bold dissonance with the melody. With every bone in her body creaking like a neglected wooden floor, she arose and hobbled over to the tuna cans stacked on her kitchen counter. Once her famished pets were appeased, she slowly drew the dry sandy curtains of her old flat. The sun shone in, revealing dust dancing about the room, finding rest on her scratchy grey furniture. She stared outside, glancing over her bastard city-suburb neighborhood. To the left she saw a bundle of grey clouds looming in her direction. As her cats retired to the filthy rug in the sunlight, Mrs. Margaret donned her coat with a weary grunt and set out.
As she passed by her amber neighborhood, the clouds gained pace over her. Not bothering to resort to shelter, her coverings grew cold and damp. Each last drop of rain smacked the sidewalk and trickled down the street. To the average person, such a downpour’s effect on the body would be little more than being grazed with a feather. However, for old Mrs. Margaret, each droplet carried as much force as a freight train. As she approached her local market, the downpour subsided and the sun shone again, granting her frail figure some warmth.
The market, although wet, was flourishing with crowds of happy people from the city center, all of them joyously waltzing into the various clothing shops and cafes. This upbeat ambience annoyed Mrs. Margaret to the extent that her neutral expression hardened to frustrated, which very few people would actually distinguish from her regular appearance. The smell of coffee and fresh breakfast meals did not help her attitude either. The pleasant odor struck her nose such that her wrinkles scrunched up to the point of looking fake. In response to the smiling faces and bright colorful places, her eyes watered like a crushed fruit and her sight fell victim to a blur of tears.
As she passed a large stone fountain on her way to the market’s main grocery, through her stingy eyes she saw a man with frizzy black hair and a fuzzy chin. His smile stretched widely as his arms, parading around a sign advertising “free hugs”. Mrs. Margaret, for the first time in a while, did not see a stranger as something to be aggressive or sad about. At first she felt indifferent, but even that struck her as unusual. There was nothing to hate about him, so her emotions faced a crisis. Gradually, scouring over each detail of his kindness and generosity, her indifference turned to joy. With no warning, she embraced the man warmly, and although he was surprised, he hugged back. They enjoyed the moment for a few seconds. It was after the pure bliss of the embrace that Mrs. Margaret had felt any sort of energy, and although her contentedness with the embrace of the young man was great and stable, her energy soon outweighed it. She slowly pivoted her feet into the ground, gradually strengthened her grip, and, in an outburst of energy that she had not felt since her youth, she swung her arms, still attached to the youth, outward. The man was thrown backward into the fountain, cascading a skirt of water all around. Splash.
The man arose from the fountain, water streaming from his hair. Through the droplets he saw the old lady vibrantly tossing aside her soaked coat. She strut into a nearby pub, snatching and donning a pair of sunglasses from a nearby youth. The now-wet hug-loving young man rose from the fountain, brandishing a confused smile.

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