Wednesday, 19 January 2011

The Great Deducer

This was a small matter. I was expecting a small boy--fourteen maybe....though they start as young as eight. But it would be passed his bedtime. I listened for the cough of a motorini and the knock of someone on a lower rung just running the last errand of the day. The door. I looked down. But they were not the shoes I was looking for....big black shiny shoes polished by his maid or his mistress depending on the day.

They were the thickest, whitest, ugliest socks. The man and his shoe box looked perfectly attired for a small dinner party....all but the socks. He must've had his bow tie in his pocket. A little off duty detail. Otherwise, in his forties, dark suit, slightly rotund only from the finest three or four course meals and strangely at my door on a rainy night up 92 stairs...not huffing or puffing. He was fit under that wool coat and he just needed one thing. A pair of shoes....a very special pair of shoes. He had even brought his own box. He didn't look the type to run errands.

I gave her a ring to say I was getting out of town for a few days. Florence, some fresh air. Some northerly sanity. She panicked and suddenly needed some special shoes as she was going out of town herself down to Sicily. "I really must have these shoes. They go with...uhm" It was painful to hear her try to make this one up. I preferred her glamorous way of saying...."Don't you trust me?" What kind of footwear do they wear down there?

I wondered as I stood in the kitchen while he unlocked the standing cabinet in the living room which was part of the deal. As long as the cabinet could stay, so could I. You could call it cabinet sitting. Me, the great deducer. Crap at equations and better off for it.

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