The Source of Ambulance Voices

I sat on the small blue stool facing the chair in which the 37-year-old man sat with the newspaper, perusing the classified advertisements, and pulled off the shoes. My feet felt relieved and cooled by the air and the day's worth of sweat, heat, and pressure resulted in a funky odor. The odor was tucked into the shoes I wore, the sneakers, but with no prompting it brought itself into the room and immediately it offended the 37-year-old man who lowered his newspaper slowly for comic effect. With his face, he displayed a lopsided frown and furrowed brows and I felt bashfulness on my skin and I apologized silently.

"Where were you today?" I asked him.

"You'll see," he said. He rose from his chair, took my shoes gently like puppies or bunnies, and put them in the sink and sprayed water in them and squeezed a big dollop of dish-washing liquid into them and stood over the sink staring at the foam pouring out. He looked up at me, standing in the doorway of the kitchen, and with a rakish smile asked if I had any more of the pasty grain concoction I recently fed him.