Do you think this will work? my friend Hank asked,
thrusting a black tennis shoe my way. I didn’t. Nothing
he had did so I bought him some new shoes, black,
our favorite color, the color of night, mystery, Johnny Cash.
I told him that he could use the shoes for a long time, no
matter what happened with the job. He didn’t get it, despite
all the efforts for the good, to sit up straight, etc. A year
later he fell in his old black tennis shoes, no match for black
ice. He died. You can’t make this shit up, he’d say whenever
something weird happened, and I thought of it, peering
into his open casket. I recognized his outfit, the same one
he wore for the interview. His mother told me that he was
wearing almost new shoes, some she’d found in his
closet, worn only once or twice, did I know where they
came from because they looked expensive, something
he probably wouldn’t have been able to afford.