(First appeared in the Harvard Review, Harvard University, No. 14, 1998, pg. 91; and is also in The Soup of Something Missing.)
I walked into my apartment after work and my left foot was immediately overwhelmed by the warm air. Why didn’t my right foot also enjoy the climate change as quickly? I looked down. My left shoe was missing! I was wearing it when I left the store. No doubt it was stolen by that one-legged bastard Dr. Gorlick. He sat across from me on the bus, eyeing my new shoes as we wove through late afternoon traffic. Not once did he mention the polished leather’s soft glow, the imported style. His envious silence was confession enough. In the few minutes I was asleep -- I always take short naps on buses -- he slipped my shoe off and hid it in his black bag. I know he’ll wear my shoe while he treats patients tomorrow but not on the bus ride home. So I’ll disguise myself as a policeman wounded with a bullet in the stomach. The ambulance will deliver me to his office. My disguise will be so effective that as soon as he finishes treating the wound I’ll arrest him. Before sleep tonight I’ll read a book on police procedure. His crime should not go unpunished because of a technicality on my part.