Off My Shoe

As my foot touched the ground I felt something sticky under my shoe. I got off my bike, shifted my office bag on other shoulder and lifted my foot to see what had stuck below. Whatever it was, it was gooey and sticky and …fleshy and red.

The lump was more like a little ball of dough but it had gotten into the grooves of my shoe sole and had adjusted into it perfectly. However, the thicker portion stuck out and it made walking difficult for me. I was wondering what it might be when I remembered what I had seen on the road in morning – a victim of a fresh road accident.

The driver of a container truck had probably lost control in an attempt to make a sharp turn and ran into a biker who again probably could not brake in time and rammed into the turning truck straight on. The bike might have slipped throwing the biker under the wheels of the truck squashing him like a tomato under a hammer.

An accident of this nature in the rush hour on the main road ensured that a traffic congestion ensued immediately and every passer by had an eyeful.

The rider probably was on his way to work. His stomach and his lunch box were strewn all over the road and had got mixed in the splat. His being was faceless now. A twisted arm, an open joint and teeth were thrown all around. The toasted footpath on one end was washed with blood which flowed like viscous ketchup. A few police constables lurked around in the vicinity like vultures on a kill. The truck was empty, probably the booty and the driver were already taken care of. The body was still around though, probably waiting for an ambulance to wade its way through the bursting traffic.

I guessed that the ‘thing’ under my shoe was probably a portion of the guts of a fellow biker. It might have found its way on my shoe as I swerved and turned in the traffic near the body.

I looked around for some stick or twig to pull it out but could not find any. I did not wish to touch it with bare fingers fearing some infection. What if the man was suffering from some disease and had thrown himself before the truck? I rubbed my foot on the ground, trying to raze it out but the piece of meat just got aligned with the level of the sole instead of coming out.

What could I do now? I thought hard. Maybe I could leave it just the way it was. Probably it would solidify or maybe shrivel (I didn’t know how human flesh would behave) and then would come out on its own. It felt creepy to be carrying flesh from someone’s stomach or something on me all the while. I enquired the guard around if he had something that he could help me with. He went in to some dirty corner and got me a broken piece of glass.

This, I thought, should do the trick. I scrapped and tugged at the piece, rubbed and pricked and grinded and cut in till the time the little mass of flesh decided to let go my shoe and came off. Relieved at last, I shifted my bag again and kicked the little piece to a corner of the road where it rolled and finally fell into a drain on the side.

I fumbled for mint in my pocket, popped one in my mouth and headed to the elevator to begin my day at work.

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