They called him Old Greenshoe because his shoes were so decrepit and decomposed after years of homelessness sleeping in the heating ducts of towering buildings or sprawled under some bushes in one of the many town parks. He was the ancient, bearded archetypical Father of them All. The Very First One, they called him. And striplings new to the homeless way cut their teeth on fables about the Old Greenshoe. There was a lot more to being a good bum than just being broke. When Greenshoe crawled out from behind the dumpster that afternoon, picking the bits of discarded leftover fast food from his choppers, he grinned slightly and let out a gurgle, farting as he went. “Ha ha!” he chuckled. His merry life. Then he saw her. A woman in a wedding gown with a shovel digging a hole in the pile of ash behind the chinese restaurant at the far end of the alley. There seemed no obvious reason for this, and Greenshoe wondered why, and who she was, and what for. Buried treasure? Concealing a secret last-minute abortion? Burying a rival for the groom’s hand? Well, times was funny. After a whole life spent trying to fit in, he didn’t dare ask. It was just one of those many strange things he often noticed and wondered about. The word “green” recently having come to mean “environmentally conscious”, he’d recently attempted a comeback, prancing out into the main street, cuffs flapping. Only to be pelted with rocks, running off down an alley, children laughing at him.
Cornstalk Reveries by Zack Kopp