Edited by Melissa Mayberry
She had a full front page down the catalog that featured nothing but her Italian body. She and her twin modeled themselves with a kind of snooty attitude combined with only the kind of grace a dancer could embody. This was no ordinary pair of shoes, these were the kind of shoes sneakers dream of.
I came from Larry’s Shoes. It was a simple store down on west Main st. that sold only men’s shoes. We were an ugly lot. There were the brown shoes with fake leather that were often sold to the suckers who went job hunting. After weeks of rejections, they would finally saunter into the store and buy interview shoes. The problem was, they were so poor by the time they got to Larry’s that they could only afford faux leather. I had to sit next to those fake leather shoes for forty five days until Jeremy Winters took me home.
He was a nice enough guy, but he fit the Larry’s Shoe society to a tee. He took one look at my shiny, but not too shiny, smooth skin and thought ‘for fifteen bucks, these sneakers will do.’ My laces were a tangled up mess with the end bit of plastic already frayed off from the factory. Being a cheapskate, Jeremy never bought new ones.
I tried to hide the tops of my laces under my tongue, hoping maybe the Italian beauty wouldn’t notice. I had only a couple more blocks to go until we met at The Closet for a drink. It was a little hole in the wall bar, cozy and not too out of the way. I would have picked her up at her place, but she told me she lived in FlatBush which was seven blocks in the opposite direction. One look at the bottom of my shoes and I knew I would split a hole before reaching her house. Instead she said she’d call a cab.
As I approached The Closet, I checked once again to make sure my laces were safely swallowed. Through the darkness of the bar I saw her from outside the window. She was dressed in red silk and had the heels of a kitten. In a flash I knew I’d be selling my sole just to have one drink with the likes of her.