shoes

I probably wouldn't even remember the guy if it weren't for his shoes. I'd say I saw him just about everyday, but we never spoke more then a passing word to each other. If I ever had work that actually involved speaking with him, we spoke very briefly and only about the project. He always seemed to be content and would just sit at his desk and do his work. Physically he was, well, I guess just normal. Not really big or small. Didn't have a beak of a nose or anything like that. At least not that I can remember. I don't think anyone in the office really knew him. His desk had a scattering of generic friends and family type pictures. I think I remember him having a small sports team poster, I want to say football. I don't really remember anything else on the spot. But yeah, those shoes were just odd.

He dressed fine or well enough that I never noticed, but he wore the oldest, most worn down shoes I've ever seen. They looked like they may have been alright dress shoes at some point, but probably not since 1970. The soles of the shoes looked like they were about to fall off and the leather was torn and just thrashed. Everyone noticed them. I always enjoyed watching people meet the guy, because they'd keep looking at his feet before they realized they were staring. It was one of those "do you know so-and-so? You know the guy with the ratty shoes? - Oh yeah, him!" cases. Ever one noticed it. The guy would have never been talked about otherwise.

No one ever asked him why. At least not that I know. There were a few rumors that went around, but I'm pretty sure that's all they were. The strongest rumor was that he was homeless at one point and wore them as a reminder of where he came from. That was certainly the most positive of the stories, but it got killed by the man himself. In some meeting, a stupid intern somehow brought it up not realizing it was gossip. The guy just looked at the intern like he was speaking another language. He was pretty confused the rest of that day. Still we never found out why he wore those things.

I can't say I ever felt one way or the other for the guy. He was just odd. No, he didn't really do anything else weird. But he was always so seperate from everyone else. And those shoes, proof enough that he was a bit off. I tell you, I wouldn't have even remembered him when you brought him up if not for those nasty shoes. Can't say that I've thought much of him since he's left. Why did you ask?

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