A Tire Swing Story is a bite-sized "imagining" inspired by an object I discover while wandering. It could be a curbside trash gem or a message sprayed on a wall. A lost mitten, or an antique store find. Anything goes. I photograph the object and post them together, the story and its inspiration. There will be a new story every Monday and Wednesday. On Fridays, I'll discuss writing, life, love, and coffee. (In no particular order and maybe all at once.)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Margo and the Red Umbrella: Part 2

To read Part 1 click here.

The raindrops smack-spattered the top of the red umbrella. Margo, the cat, and the old man walked on. 

Ahead, they could see a woman wrestling with a small and flimsy-looking black umbrella that had turned itself inside out. The woman was dressed in a grey suit and her wet hair clung to her face. She shook the umbrella violently. "Come on, come on!" she said, but it refused to co-operate.

The woman noticed them watching her. "I'm late for a very important meeting," she said. 

Margo didn't know what it was like to be late for a meeting, but she certainly understood what it was like to struggle. "Come and join us under here," she said to the woman, "we'll get you there." 

The woman grinned and pushed her wet hair out of her eyes. She ducked beneath Margo's red umbrella. 

It wasn't even all that crowded under there. Sure they, had to huddle a little closer together, but there was certainly enough room. (Margo caught the scent of peppermints on the old man's breath. She smiled at him and he passed her a candy. The cat's breath was rather bad, but they were all too polite to mention it.)

When they passed an alley, Margo could see a man crouched in a doorway.  

His head was down and raindrops were falling down the back of his frayed coat, but he didn't seem to care. One of his shoes had a hole in the toe and Margo shivered at the thought of those wet feet.

The man looked up and took in the sight of the umbrella and the little group clustered beneath it. He sighed.

"I don't have anyone," he said, "not a soul in this world."

 Margo didn't know what it was like to sit in an alley with it raining into your coat, but she certainly knew about loneliness. Loneliness was the one thing Margo knew about the most.

"I was wondering if you might like to join us?" she asked him. 

"Why?" 

"Because it's raining awfully hard. And it's dry under here. There's even peppermints." 

The man gave her a little half-smile. Then he rose shakily to his feet.

It had been a most unusual morning. Margo looked around her and saw that under the red umbrella were some unexpected friends.

And you know the strangest thing? None of them were quite so sad, so confused, so frustrated, or so lonely ever again.

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