Sunday, September 19, 2004

Palermo looked down at his feet. He wiggled his toes to remind them that he was still the boss. His feet had been leading him to odd places ever since-
"More coffee?" The waitress held out a dented, gray urn.

"Yes. No. I mean, yes that is more coffee, but I do not think I need any right now, thank you."

She laughed. "No, I guess you don't." She smiled at him and took the battered pot over to the next table.

He returned his attention to his feet. Washing the sandals would take care of everything. Washing the sandals would mean letting go. Tomorrow morning, just before dawn, he should walk out to his backyard wearing nothing but his sandals. As the sun broke over the horizon, he would kick them off onto the grass and blast them with the water hose. It would be very symbolic; very spiritual.

The clean, American water would wash away every last trace of the beach in Mexico. Gone would be the white streaks of salt that stained the brown leather. The grains of sand that tickled and irritated the bottoms of his feet would cling tenaciously, but still drown in the end.

Then, he would turn the hose upon himself. Perhaps, on full blast, the water could wash away all the memories he had made in that foreign land. And perhaps, if he could withstand the stinging spray long enough, it would wash away that foreign emotion most people called Hope that still nestled snugly in his chest.

He would lay the sandals out to dry. The sun would be fierce. Fire and ice, that would end the world in his footwear.

He contemplated sticking them in the freezer, just to be sure.

It felt good to have a plan again. But first...

"Oh miss? More coffee, if you please."

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