One of my random, under-the-table jobs was packing gift baskets for a shop in the strip. I had done it before, during the evenings right before Christmas. It’s all standing and walking and bending and carrying. About two weeks before I started, while perusing the Goodwill in Monroeville, I happened upon a pair of black shoes that looked like they might be good for the job. They were $3 + they fit = they were mine.
Since I wasn’t sure how the “new” shoes would hold up for an entire day, I brought an extra pair with me. Standing for 8+ hours in uncomfortable shoes would suck. I arrived in the strip and found a nearby parking spot on a side street where the meter had been, um, removed. It was a beautiful, clear, cool morning. The Hold Steady had been playing on my IPod when I pulled up, so I figured I could listen to the rest of the song during the 3-block walk. I exited my car, hit play and proceeded up the sidewalk.
At the end of the block, sort of at an alley, a construction pick-up truck with air compressor in-tow was parked. Nobody was around. A wooden horse was next to the truck at a slight angle. I ignored it. Until started sinking. I took two giant, slow-motioned, panicked steps before the first foot was out of the wet cement. On solid ground I looked around, embarrassed but laughing and completely surprised that still, nobody was around. I sort of stomped a couple of times, like you do to get the snow off your shoes, but it didn’t really work. Back in my car, I tried to wipe off as much wet cement as possible and changed my shoes. (Ha! Knew there was a reason I brought the spare ones!) Thinking that the cement people would probably be back I hid my cement-covered shoes so they wouldn’t know it was me. (Would I find am angry note on my car? Or maybe a smashed window? Or would they just point and laugh when I came back?)
Around 5-ish when I came back to my car, all the sidewalk corners had been re-cemented, the one by my car twice, and completely covered, wooden horses surrounding and tarp over those, tied in place and held down by bricks.