It seems unbelievable. I was hoping for a better and benign world. Only yesterday the sun seemed so happy and yellow. Temperatures above average. And the shopkeeper had a spring in his steps while putting out his cases of vine ripened cherry tomatoes outside on the sun-lit pavement. They were on special for $8.90 a kilo. It was going to be one of those days where he felt happy to be alive. It wasn’t like that yesterday when he was soaked in a gloom without reason. Most times the feelings he harboured, good or bad, had no real cause. They just came about irrespective of daily events, past or present. His wife thought her husband was a natural for gloom and doom but also seemed to have an inborn stubbornness whereby his good humour, by and large, overrode his charcoal gloom. He was his father’s son and as a bonus had inherited the Fruit and Vegie emporium on the High-way to Cronulla. Sometimes, especially when he was in a good mood, he joked ‘the Highway-to hell.’
For some reason he found much to be dark about. Almost everywhere he looked. His loving wife often thought he should stop looking so much and concentrate on the cases of fruit and above all; the cherry tomatoes. She cared deeply about his state of mind and often bought a nice colourful scarf to try and put more cheer behind the counter and also to compliment the roseate coloured pink ladies. Anyone who ever had a bite of a pink lady would remember the unforgettable taste and crispiness. She was out to make things look better, lighter, and spread cheer and sweetness. Her cheeks, especially around her eyes, had creases from decades of laughter and seemed ( to the initiated at least) to oppose his potato coloured frowns and rampant worry lines.
He did his best but also had to cope with the years passing by. The unloading of boxes of Dutch Creams or Desiree at the Flemington fruit market had taken their toll, as inevitably heavy physical work does. He had developed a stoop and a weary sighing. The latter more due to dark thoughts than ageing which his dear wife was sometimes at pains to point out to him. She cut a blood orange and showed him how lovely nature can be. Here,have one, she offered him like the good Eve she was. He smiled and took her offer.
All was not lost.