Yesterday, during lunchtime at work, I walked to the red brick MAX platform to await the train. As I approached the platform, I noticed something lying on the ground. Upon closer observation I realized it was an abandoned pair of men's shoes in black loafer style.
They lay on the wet brick in the haphazard way of someone who carelessly tosses off their shoes to relax on a sofa. They resided in front of a bench. On the bench a newspaper lay splayed out; its rain sodden pages pressed against the wood slat seat. Strangers, who awaited the next train beside me, glanced casually down at the scene then turned and ignored it like it was nothing out of the normal one would see in the middle of a rainy day in the City.
I however, could not look away. My mind sifted through the puzzle. Why would the shoes be left behind?
The winter wind whipped around me and tugged at the edges of the newspaper pinned to the bench. Pools of rain water beaded on the wood of the bench giving no hint of anyone having momentarily abandoned their reading.
A bum approached the shoes and bench. I watched him closely. Surely, here was the owner of the shoes! I felt a piece of puzzle slide into place then bump up against an obstruction as the bum leaned down, picked up a cigarette butt, then moved on past the shoes as if they were invisible.
Were they invisible? I blinked the rain from my eyes and peered again.
The shoes remained. The newspaper fluttered in the wind.
The Train rumbled up to the platform and I stepped inside the open doors. The door closed and I watched the shoes until a turn on the tracks removed them from my sight.
I leaned my head back against the train wall and closed my eyes. Imagination drifting, I saw a business man harried from a hard day at the office. He sat reading his paper, during his lunch hour, in an attempt to temporarily close out the world around him. His eyes fixed on something in the paper. His spine stiffened. With a nod and a jerk he sprang from bench. He tipped back his head and a rusty laugh spilled from his throat.
"Screw this!" He shouted to the worker lemmings huddled miserably beside him.
Kicking the shoes from his feet, he strode barefoot and free down the sidewalk to begin the life he always dreamed he would live.
I smiled as my imaginations eye watched him stride away; then sobered as I felt the weight of my shoes pressing down on my feet.
Perhaps I should...
9 years ago