She carried moods in a pink backpack, sold them for $5.00 a pop. I’d seen her at the corner of Main and 4th for the last month, her purple hair pulled back in a bun. She always wore tight jeans with red suspenders and knee socks.
The sign said, “I’ve got the mood for you,” and most days when I walked home from work, a bevy of men clad in business suits, scrubs and plain clothes surrounded her like seagulls behind a ferry trying to grab the next bread crumb tossed in the air. Whenever I walked by she always looked up and smiled. I’d turn away and hurry on.
One day I decided to stop. It had been a particularly bad day. If anything could go wrong, it did. Sue and I had argued before the kids had left for the bus, which by the looks on their faces, had devastated them. Then at work, I missed an important meeting because I was late. I had to work through lunch to make it up. I was hungry, tired and mad. I needed a lift.
The lady gave me her normal smile.
“What’ll you have today? It looks like you could use some happiness. I have just the thing for you,” she said in a high-pitched animated squeak.
I was curious so I pulled out a five.
“Perfect. I’ll take some, or it, or whatever the hell this is you’re selling,” I said.
She reached in her pink backpack and pulled out a yellow happy face squeeze ball. Then she giggled. I’d never heard another person laugh like that. She laughed and laughed. Before I knew it, I was laughing, too.
“Now you keep this in your pocket and whenever you get agitated, squeeze it. You’ll be happy in no time.”
I left with the ball. As soon as I got far enough away, I reached into my pocket and squeezed the smiley face. Her laughter resonated through the air. I smiled. It worked!
It’s still working for me, too.
Today's inspiration~ Flashy Fiction: Monday Moods