The torn up piece of thin canvas covering his feet provided more exposure of his socks than coverage. The compressed soles were evidence of the years and years of heavy steps. The thick laces frayed into a million different strands and were tied so loosely they barely did their job. The original pristine color of the shoe had been covered with layers of dirt and tar and life’s cruelty. I could barely make out the bottom layer of white that used to be bright and clean. Stains the color of rotten bananas coated the surface of the canvas and permeated deep to the bottom layer. Dirty to the core. The torn up stitches barely held the remaining pieces of the shoe together. It was on the edge of collapse. I could smell the trapped odor of cheap smoke and expensive liquor that saturated the fabric. When he walked, the shoes fell to the ground with such heavy dejection. I covered my ears and looked away. I had known these shoes since the day I met him. 20 years ago. I don’t even know if he owns another pair. These shoes can barely keep themselves together. That seems fitting. They don’t look out of place on his body.
January 8, 2018