100 days: Day 26

30/12/2009

Shoe Museum, a horror story.

‘Ask him, he might know,’ said Carol indicating the shadowy figure emerging from the alleyway. Her company made me feel vulnerable, her intentions were too pure, she lacked the ability to identify potential threats, like shadowy figures emerging from alleyways. Also, her bumbag wreaked of tourist (and I didn’t care much for the colour) and this town didn’t look too receptive to that kind of carry on. ‘Excuse me, excuse me sir,’ she continued unreservedly. I reluctantly followed.

‘Maybe we should just carry on with the map Carol.’ I suggested. It fell on deaf ears.

‘Excuse me sir,’ she said, now a couple of feet from his vomiting head. Unfazed.

‘Ehhh?’ he rasped, wiping spittle from his lips.

‘Maybe he wants to be left alone, Carol… Carol.’ no, she wasn’t having any of it. ‘Carol…’ no.

‘Hi, we’re just passing through town and we wanted have a look at the shoe museum while we’re here, but we’ve got hopelessly lost. Can you tell us where it is?’, she asked in her syrup sweet voice. Almost sickly. He didn’t lift his head, just panted, his face obscured by his tatty baseball cap. I moved in.

‘Carol, come on, lets leave him to it,’ I said while clutching her arm, a little harder than I generally would. She reacted badly to this and pulled away. I didn’t like how close we were to this guy, he smelt of vomit and almonds. Then he froze in an unnatural motion as if having an epiphany. The shadow from his cap still hiding his face except for a row of yellowed, incomplete teeth that were gradually being revealed from beneath a crusted papercut-like smile.

‘Them’s nice shoes lady, nice shoes indeed, and likewise sir, I admire your taste in cobbling. I do, sincerely I do,’ he growled. Although it was a complement, it had a sinister undertone to it and not just because he was a smelly, creepy looking guy with his face obscured and bad teeth hunched vomiting in an alleyway, he seemed to be putting special effort into annunciating his Texan vowels in such a way to make himself seem infinitely creepier.

‘Aw thanks,’ Carol responded with a smile. My God, I thought, she’s a lovely moron.

‘Let’s go Carol,’ I demanded.

‘You’re being repetitive, Randell,’ she snapped back. I was taken aback.

‘Did you just call me Randell?’ I gasped.

‘No, oh shit, sorry honey, no, I didn’t mean it!’ she backtracked.

‘I knew it, you still think about him. Forget this,’ and I was off. Bit selfish in retrospect given the situation she didn’t seem to be aware of.

She wrote to me about a year later. She said the guy we met ran the shoe museum, which makes sense. She’d shacked up with him and was helping to run the museum which was going well. I wasn’t sure what to make of that. On the one hand I was glad he hadn’t murdered her or anything, which I had a niggling feeling he had, so that was a relief. But on the other hand that puts me on the same attraction level as a vomity, smelly, yellow-toothed, alley-dwelling shoe-perv. Guess it makes sense, I am a reactionary cowardly shit. And I have a big nose.

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