Gold-buckled white shoes

Gold-buckled white shoes

She had gold-buckled white shoes.

She sat across from him on the bus, in broad, old-fashioned carpeted trousers with gold-buckled white shoes.

Feet crossed at the ankle, trousers dotted in what he guessed were spatters of slush mixed with ice-melt.

Poor thing, he thought.

Or no – perhaps she is a painter. Like me.

He looked down at his own hands, run over with the remains of manicures, stray acrylic paint, and the brilliant indigo hair dye of the night before.

She looks like she would call herself a paintress, he thought wryly.

“But only in public,” he imagined her confiding to a new close friend. “I’m a goddamned painter.

“Do you see my brushwork? No you don’t. Because I’m a goddamned genius.”

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