Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Ethereal, Mystical Margaret

Last week I began republishing a series of posts I did a couple of years ago. These came from my observations and conversations while in the waiting room at the VA hospital in Columbia. A group of women were all waiting for their husbands to have colonoscopy or endoscopy procedures. Boredom and natural curiosity made me pick up my pen and paper and start to write.
After my last two posts which you can find here and here, I had intended to write number three about the woman pretending to read a book who looked anxious and sad.  But I've decided I'm going to save "Sad" for last.

There was another lady in the waiting room dressed to the nines - designer purse, killer high heeled shoes, silk scarf, and flawless makeup.  She was attempting to be a Waiting Room Snob, but Lillian pulled her out of it.  I think Lillian was the life of the party when she was younger and she still had a zest for living like no-one I've ever seen.

Margaret was her name but no-one asked how old she was.  Now, when a stranger asks me my age, I usually have a little fun with it.  I definitely look my age - there's no getting around it.  Sometimes I'll fib a little and tell them that I'm ten years older than I really am.  They'll look shocked and say something like, "No Way - you really look much younger".  It's much more fun than telling the truth and having them look skeptical and thinking, "She's lying - I know she's older than that".

But with Margaret, it was very hard to tell.  Black women grow older much more gracefully than women of other races.   Margaret was beautiful and had the grace and elegance of royalty.  She was thin and had high cheekbones with just the right amount of blush / rouge.  Her skin was a beautiful rich chocolate.  Her eyebrows were arched perfectly and she had a short, trendy hairstyle.  She was very friendly and sweet once Lillian broke the ice.  She reminded me of myself, listening, asking polite questions, but never revealing anything about herself.  She appeared ethereal and mystical which made me want to know much more than she was willing to reveal.  If I were going to write about her, I would have to invent my own stories.  But I won't.  Mystical and ethereal people are hard to read - I wouldn't get it right.  It's much more intriguing to leave it at that.  You can all use your own imaginations.

It would be a fun challenge for all my writer friends out there.  Write a story about Margaret and link it back to my post.  Who was she waiting for?  I never saw him.  How old was she?  Somewhere between forty and sixty.  I know that's a wide range - she looked young but something about her told me she was older than she looks.  Who is Margaret?  I have to admit, I don't know.

Stay tuned in the next few days for The Sad One.

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