Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The other shoe.

I came up the walk reading my new book. I paused beside the Real Tennis Club at the end of the walk and stood reading. A flick of cream caught the corner of my eye; I put my finger in the pages and turned to see a man in a sweater and shorts running away from the building. He was going in the direction that I needed to go, so I followed him. His gait was lop-sided because he was running over the gravel in only one tennis shoe, but running as though fleeing a scene. I crossed the street and turned back to watch. He had opened the back door of his car and was rummaging in one of the backseat footwells. From where I was standing, I could see the other side of the car, where a tennis shoe pointed its toe at the other back door. Before I called across the street, I checked to be sure that that shoe matched the one he was wearing. Because it did, I hollered, just as he was standing up, "It's on the other side!"

"Is there a shoe over there?" he replied.

"Yes, it's on the other side."

"Thanks!" he called back. He seemed surprised that I'd said anything at all. He looked across the street a couple of times as he walked around behind the car to retrieve his shoe. I walked home.


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