The Man Who Walked

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The man who walked did exactly that: Walk. A whole lot. And he wore shoes. And the shoes died.

And so the man bought another pair of shoes. And walked until they died, too.

And it went on this way until one day, the man said to himself: “I think my shoes are dieing more quickly now.”

“I get the best shoes I can, but I guess I walk more, and more.” the man thought as he walked.

And the man thought his shoes were not getting enough rest. He thoughts came with each stride, “My dress shoes look great, and that’s because they get lots of rest. And they would not last nearly as long as my walking shoes.”

And so when this pair of shoes died of Despair of the Vulcanization the man decided to get two pair instead of one. Finest third world goods you can buy in America, and that’s no lie. Two of the world’s finest pair of shoes. Third world division.

The man decided to call them Morning and Afternoon. Morning would do all the grunt work of hitting the pavement before noon, and Afternoon would take the PM hours. It made perfect sense.

But then one evening, late, late, late when the roosters had sang the dogs to sleep, and the cats passed them all noislessly in the dark, Dress woke up Afternoon and Morning and had a talk.

Dress started out saying, “You know this guy will walk you to death day after day in the bright sunlight, brighter than a flash bulb. Your vulcanization will get the Despair sooner or later. It rots your rubber, and no amount of shoo-goo will fill the cracks and holes. And when the man steps in a puddle, you are dead.”

Morning and Afternoon were stunned into silence: that’s easy for a shoe, they do it all day long. But Afternoon finally said, “I’m the one to die first. I have to walk more than Morning! He only works till noon, and sometimes I have these late nights of walking in total darkness. You know how scary that is? When he can’t see where he’s going and push me down on a nail? Then I’ll be dead for sure.”

And Dress and Morning thought about that all the next day. It was late, late when the man returned home and removed Afternoon. There in the dark, Afternoon lay sobbing. “I was so scared, it was raining and I’m all wet, and I was scared that I might get that Vulcannie Diapers you told us about.”

Morning said: “I’m so sorry, but that’s life. When you die, I’ll be the Afternoon shoe. I’ll likely be the all-day shoe. And that’s worse than either of us have.”

Black said: “I was the all-day shoe once. It was tough. The man didn’t walk as much back then, though. You know what we need?” Black waited in the dark for a long time until he realized that no one is supposed to answer a rhetorical question. He continued: “Buh, cough, But we need, what we need is a union.”

Morning and Afternoon thought about it. They debated and went back and forth for a long time. Days and days. And one night, Afternoon said: “So Mr. Spit Polish Black, just what is a union? What do we do? We can’t just quit. We ARE shoes, you know.”

Black smiled. “I got it all figured out. We just leave a roster on his computer of “Morning - Afternoon” shoe rotation. You know, where one of you walk from noon to noon, and then get the afternoon and next morning off.”

Afternoon howled with glee: “That IT! We all know the man’s passwords, and he’ll just think he had this blindingly good idea and made a sign to tell him what to wear and when.”

Morning agreed: “And he forgot about it! He’s so far out in la-la land he won’t even think about it twice. Maybe we should post it on his FaceBook page. And Twitter.”

And so Black, Morning and Afternoon snuck around on their rubber soles and carried Black up to the keyboard. Afternoon had trouble with the keyboard, and kept fat-soleing whenever he hit the return key, but Black took care of the trackpad — “just like a waa-waa pedal!” he cried. — and Morning did the Google searches and checked the FAQ’s. They continued all night long.

And in the morning the man who walked got up and looked at his computer: he saw a note on his ‘puter: “Jim — remember to set up roster for shoes for equal wear. They’ll last longer, and get a shoe stretcher for the dress pair. In fact, get another pair and rotate them all to get maximum time for them to air out. And polish the dress pair.”

The man who walked said: “Good idea, except for those useless old black things.”

that's all--