As I walked back to my car, I saw them sitting on the curb - a pair of brown leather men's shoes. The leather was still glossy and intact; the shoes were a stylish cut. They sat neatly, side by side, as if waiting for their owner to return. No-one else was around. I couldn't stop staring. Even once in my car, I eyed the shoes curiously in my rear vision mirror. The whole situation puzzled me greatly.
The house which the curb fronted was small and unlovely, with peeling white paint. It sat amidst the car fumes from the main road. I found it hard to imagine these expensive-looking shoes belonging to anyone in this house. And if the shoes had been a special purchase, a saved-for splurge, then why had they been abandoned so callously?
I wondered if perhaps the shoes were pinching the Italian-shoes-man, as he walked home from the bus stop after Friday night drinks. Did he swear softly, as he stopped and gently eased the shoes from blistered or aching feet? Did he sway as he placed his footwear with drunken precision by the curb? And did he then smile with relief as he lurched away in his brown socks, feeling the grass soft and springy underfoot?
If only the tongues of those shoes could talk.