To Hell and Back

Dude comes up to the bar asking if anyone has turned in any shoes. Shoes? Yeah shoes. Says he was dancing in the pit and someone took a swing at him. Knocked him the fuck out. Says that while he was out cold someone took his black Chucks, size eleven, right off his feet. No man. No shoes have been turned in. He orders two cans of PBR then walks back toward the show with dirty white socks slopping on his feet.

An hour later, a young girl turns in a shoe. The left one. Black Chuck, size eleven. Dirty as hell. Says she found it in the women’s bathroom. What about the other one? Don’t know. There was only one in there.

Then sometime later, a guy, probably a college kid, turns in another shoe. The right one. Black Chuck, size eleven. But this one looks brand new. Sidewalls, lace and toe, all pure white. Like straight-out-the-box white. Says he found it outside on the patio while having a cigarette. He would keep it but what can he do with one shoe? It’s his size though.

The show eventually ends and people file out. They are all music-beaten by the three punk bands that tore it up tonight. Arms and faces are scratched, clothes ripped. Some come to the bar and beg for water. Sure. For a buck-fifty. A buck-fifty? That’s bullshit. Sorry, buck-fifty. Most walk away pissed off.

The guy in socks returns to the bar and asks if he can still order. The right side of his face is swollen now. Sure. Says he wants two more PBRs. He pays, takes a sip, then asks nobody in particular if anyone turned in some Chucks. Matter of fact, yes. Two people have. As he’s handed them he closely examines each one. Then he loosens the laces, bends down and slips them on his feet. He stands back up without tying them, digs into this pocket and drops a balled up, sweaty bill into the tip jar. He takes his cans of beer and staggers away. He’s barely taken five steps when he trips on his laces. He throws a beer to the ground while barely saving himself from pulling a header on the concrete floor. He shrugs it off and disappears out the back door.

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(photo found on Flickr)

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