Ben hated stairs. He hated effort, and stairs. The pair went hand in hand. He also hated the smell of this place. The smell of ready cook meals, weak skunk, and piss that smelt so alcoholic he fantasized about himself getting drunk from the fumes. He hated council flats. He hated England. Generally Ben hated quite a lot of things. In fact the reason he was here was mainly due to the fact he hated his mum's boyfriend, Dave, the self obsessed, chain-smoking prick that he was. He was practically asking for the chair to be thrown at him, in fact as far a Ben could recall his precise words had been, "Ben splinter that chair over my head, yea? Cheers." This slight moment of un-realistic sarcasm brought a momentary smirk to the ascending boys dark lips. God he hated sarcasm.
If the shoes were alive they would have glanced down at the city through, if the shoes had them, aspiring, youthful eyes. Yet these imaginary shoes eyes, if they had existed, would have concealed a far deeper sense of knowing, much like the old man they used to belong to. At the thought of this old man the shoes mind would have flicked back to the past, a maze of recollection, pianos, stages, clubs, dancing. The shoes would have missed dancing. If shoes could love, the shoes had loved dancing, but the shoes’ past was behind them. The shoes would have been completely content in the fact they were helping someone close to them, that they had a purpose, a purpose to fulfill. The City snarled below, smoke spiraling and traffic roaring, you could hear the buzz and crackle of raw motion, of life and death passing, the city was a true demon. And the city enjoyed it. You could almost feel the shoes thank their creator for not granting them eyes. Though even if the shoes had eyes, they would not have cared, for the sun was shining, mainly due to global warming, and the shoes had a job to do.
"Well fucking brilliant" Ben yelled to stinking staircase, half because of anger, half because he new if his granddad was home he would have come out and scolded him for such French language. Ben smiled again; nothing was funnier then a racist old person, apart from perhaps hitting Dave with a chair, that had been funny. No this was not a time for laughing Ben thought, he had spent the last of his money on the bus fare over here, climbed the stinking staircase, slipped twice and coated his left nee in a thin veil of the vodka vomit, and all for what, his granddad wasn’t even home. Absolutely fucking brilliant. He slumped against the gnarled green door, not even caring about the sticky, stained floor, sulking over the amount of effort that he had spent on his pointless and piss sodden endeavor, when the door gave way and the hard cold floor turned to a dusty red carpet, the carpet of his granddads hall. Ben anger soon turned to fear. The door had been unlocked.
Ben crept through the hall and into the living room, thoughts rushed through Bens head, ranging from burglars to Asian black market slave traders, but after a thorough search other the pathetically cramped and rather old smelling place, the most menacing thing he found was a three week old cottage pie at the back of the fridge. Ben sighed, stood up straight and strolled into the living room, as if he had been pretending to be scared all along, big kids don’t get scared. Denying the fact that no one was there to see how completely cool and collected he was, he slumped down on the old sofa sending up thousand of tiny dustlets, glittering in the late evening sun as it invaded the room, surrounding him with simplistic elegant beauty.
Ben woke up, he must have drifted off. He could taste dust and sweat. He gazed out through the partially opened widow, not that it offered any breeze. Morning sun danced in through the glass. The anger of yesterday had drifted away during his sleep, he must have slept all night through, a brief thought of his mum and Dave flicked through his head, the twat nursing his bruised head, while mum ignored him and floated round the house in a state of worry. Ben smiled, he was flattering himself, there was no way he meant that much to his family. He hated them; they hated him, apart from his granddad. Ben loved his granddad.
His stomach turned as he remembered his granddad was missing. It was hot and hard to breathe. He stood up and paced around the room past the various jazz albums, posters and golden records, various photos of a younger man playing sax, piano, dancing on stage. He stroked the old oaken piano, memories of being sat on the floor jazz piano stepping lazily throughout the flat brushed the outskirts of bens brain. The piano was dusty. Grandpa always played the piano; if it was dusty he had been gone for a while. Throwing possible ideas of wear his grandpa had gone around his head. He stopped pacing at the window and looked out across the estate scanning anything. He didn’t really know why, for hope, faith, clues. He had no idea what he was doing, and he hated it. His mouth dropped in awe, or shock he couldn’t really tell. He had found something. His empty eyes starred forward at the shoes hanging off the telephone wire, suspended glistening in morning dew. Jazz shoes. His granddad’s jazz shoes.