(This piece is my contribution to the muses at http://thetenthdaughterofmemory.blogspot.com/)
Jimmy was mad. The brown shoes had invaded his corner and he did … not … like … it!
It was hard enough to be a red-headed, formerly employed, street dweller in Paris without having random shoes take over your favourite corner.
(Note: Don’t ever call Jimmy a ‘carrot top’, ‘loafer’ or ‘bum’. It will drop you in shit so deep you’ll scare off skunks for months.)
He’d gone off to look sad in his third-favourite corner, the one on Rue Gassendi where the nice lady with the purple poodle would sometimes drop a Euro in his tattered hat. (He kept his nice hat for Sundays in the Jardin des Tuileries.)
Jimmy wasn’t French, otherwise his name would have been Gemmes or Jaime or something equally Frenchified. He had followed a girl to Paris from London; unfortunately she decided, upon reflection, that she wasn’t quite as impressed with a tall, red-headed Englishman as she thought she was and went off with a short, black-headed Frenchman, leaving Jimmy quite beside himself and without a dime to his name. (He had left his job for her, you see.)
When Jimmy returned to his favourite corner that Wednesday and found the shoes in it, he didn’t think they were French either. Too brown … too practical … and much too unfashionable. At first he thought that they belonged to his competitor down the road, Crazy Carl. But even Crazy Carl had more fashion sense than that. Besides, he usually left his pants lying around, not his shoes.
Then Jimmy thought that a cat-burglar might have left them there when he decided to scale the wall and break in to someone’s apartment; so he stood back and craned his neck up to see if he could see a window that looked as if it had been broken into. Nope … nothing.
He scratched his head and scratched his nose and felt altogether put out.
“Well, there is nothing to it. We’ll just have to share it then,” he addressed the shoes as he slid his cardboard box closer and cuddled up.
“But this corner is now officially demoted to fourth-favourite!”