The Shoe

Mikhail Mikhailovich was driving down the potholed road to his office. He was late but he wasn’t upset because he could blame everything on the traffic, the Mayor and the President of the Soviet Union. He knew his boss would understand. He had managed to squeeze through three yellow lights and was just going through his forth when he braked the car to a screeching halt. A scraggy looking fellow in a tattered black suit had stepped out onto the road prematurely. Mikhail Mikhailovich rolled down his window, ‘What the hell are you? Crazy!’

The man answered with a beaming smile, poised on the edge of ecstasy and insanity, and waved at Mikhail Mikhailovich and continued on his way. Mikhail Mikhailovich figured the man was drunk and then noticed the man was wearing only one shoe. ’He must be both drunk and insane to be so happy in such a state,’ thought Mikhail Mikhailovich as he speed off; he died a few minutes later of a heart attack as his car collided with a lorry, while making a note in his diary.

Anyway the scraggy man continued limping merrily on his way in his lone shoe, smiling, laughing and waving and winking at the people; humming a tune, even dancing a little.

‘He’s drunk,’ muttered one citizen.

But the man laughed. He strutted right through the main square with his head held high, waving his shoulders blades as if he was caught in an African rhythm.

‘He’s insane,’ said one to another, ‘walking around like that in only one shoe.’

He walked through the park in much the same manner.

‘How odd!’ several passersby remarked, ‘Look how happy he is; he must be drunk.’

Then the man bent over and picked up a cigarette on the street, slightly flattened but whole. ‘Why, this is my lucky day!’ and the man wept for joy. ‘I remember reading about the “Lucky Day” but I never believed in it until now. If I’d have known today was going to be my lucky day, damn, I would have gotten up earlier.’

He sat down on a bench to rest his shoeless foot and smoke his squashed cigarette. He took off the ragged sock and rubbed the shoeless foot lovingly.

Finally three policemen noticed the overjoyed man, happy for apparently no reason and they grew suspicious. ‘Comrade, documents.’

The man handed them his crumpled documents.

‘Comrade, why are you so happy?’

‘Well, because this is my lucky day. We only get one in our lifetimes, right? Well this must be mine,’ the man said proudly.

‘I don’t see why. It seems you’ve lost a shoe.’

‘Lost a shoe? Good heavens, Comrades, no; on the contrary, I’ve found one,’ the man said in ecstasy as he smoked his cigarette.


Editor’s Corner

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