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Art, Reality
My Shoes

My Shoes

by Norbert Herrmann / 06.12.2010

There is a unique glance in his eyes as he approaches me. “A person like me,” he fumbles for words. “A person like me is always suspect.”

I do not know what to reply. I swallow. I hardly dare to look at him as he faces me.
“For people like you” he continues decidedly. “For people like you it is a reasonable strategy to expect the worst when it comes to dealing with people like me.”
Wasn’t there a slight sign of friendliness when he started to speak? Where has that gone? What made his voice turn hostile? His right hand slowly slides, disappears in the buggy pocket of his trousers. I focus on the ground, head down. No movement.
“You know,” he continues. “I need shoes.”

Two days after that I see him sitting in the middle of the robot people. They are chatting, drinking fermented, self-brewed beer. As I pass by he recognizes me. He smiles as he points at his shoes. My shoes.

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RESPONSES (17)
  1. Lizzy says:

    did you give hime your shoes or did he take them?

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  2. Lizzy says:

    did you give him your shoes or did he take them?

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  3. Andy says:

    I suspect in the silence that ensued he gave him the shoes… and then wondered whether it was a choice.

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  4. Jane says:

    Timely as we think about Human Rights on Friday 10 Dec International Human Rights Day – Go Barefoot Against Poverty http://www.barefootagainstpoverty.org

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  5. creepy steve says:

    ahh the apathy of a white mugging victim…. i love this fucking country…ps learn to run boy, unless you plan to handover your shoes every weekend. it’ll stand you in a lot better stead than the ground staring tactic

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  6. Jason says:

    What helps is if you look lank angry. I had to walk to the bus through Hillbrow for four years at art school. Never been mugged. Some other kids were though.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Yassis, this site has gone down the blerrie choobs! If not for Edmonds, this would just be one soft-cock liberal student-journalism rag.

    I mean, what is this piece supposed to be?

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  8. Andy says:

    it’s poetry douche bag!

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  9. Devon says:

    haha nice one Andy

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  10. non anonymous norbert says:

    I think the text is exactly that what each reader considers it to be. So it might even be a “soft-cock liberal student-journalism rag”. When I wrote it I went for an abrupt start and a climax or turning point pretty at the end, that’s why I call it a short short story. And as any story for sure it is inspired by reality – by South African reality.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    the reality that you are a pussy?

    art fag gets mugged and writes a ‘short short story’ about it. nice.

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  12. non anonymous norbert says:

    A short story is not a report, it is fiction. Even anonymous people should get the difference between reality and fiction. One means of a short story is to disturb regular thinking. This worked perfectly.

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  13. the razorama says:

    Haha! Disturb regular thinking?! Please don’t give yourself too vigorous a handjob, sonny! This piece is status quo pussy-liberal rhetoric. “Look at me, I gave my shoes to a homeless because I had a temporary build-up of guilt for all my priviledge and high life. Why don’t you all give your shoes to the homeless too?”

    Also, this piece doesn’t present itself as ‘fiction’. It reads as a stunted quick jab of realist reporting. We assume this actually happened to you? If it didn’t and this is pure fiction, then I’m afraid you chose the most banal method of probing ‘regular thinking’.

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  14. Anonymous says:

    he got mugged.

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  15. Anonymous says:

    nice story, reminds me of a book i saw, called the worlds shortest stories.

    few words, deep and detailed story, well done.

    as to whether this has anything to do with the author being a liberal white, what complete rubbish. :”“Look at me, I gave my shoes to a homeless because I had a temporary build-up of guilt for all my priviledge and high life. Why don’t you all give your shoes to the homeless too?””

    its called a mugging you twat. thats what they do. take your shoes. it has f@ckall to do with politics. get your head out of your @ss.

    as to whether its fiction or not, what does it matter? It’s a story that made you think, was it not? and well written. so kudo’s to the author,

    and mr razorama, get a life, read some books, learn to appreciate something without breaking your head about the politics behind it.

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  16. Nubian says:

    ” He smiles as he points at his shoes. My shoe” so he took ur shoes:-) nice story,loved it very well written…

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  17. Anonymous says:

    whilst this surges a couple of South African/ specificallyYour socio-poetics i pressume, it’s cliche to call it poetry. Its poetic, visual, not neccesarilly poetry? Think you could make it better somehow though. Nice one.

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