Horacio recognises trouble when he sees those shoes. They are plain evil—dusty brown, the leather hard and cracked like the soil after a six-month drought. These are devil shoes. The feet plant themselves on the shoeshine stand with swaggering confrontation.
Horacio’s shoeshine station is reserved for good men. They ascend its throne to rent, for five minutes, the lofty experience of a master craftsman serving at their feet. Uptown is better, in the canyons where they excavate money. Or the tourists in the plaza, but they wear flipflops. You can’t shine flipflops.
“Begone devil,” he says to the shoes.