Colored Shoe Laces (Tied tightly)

The air in your sitting room smells sultry, with a bite of sandalwood, pipe tobacco smoke, and spice. The lights are pinkish and low, but I can’t tell if the dusky dimness is deliberate, or if you have forgotten to make sure your light bulbs are in working order. I wait for you nervously, my damp loden green felt fedora balanced on my grey flannel-clad knee. I keep fiddling and twirling the gunmetal buttons on my jacket; I feel underdressed and slothful. I notice that the waxed shoelaces on my brogues are untied, and I lean down to retie them into a tight knot. I’ve never visited you here before, and it always makes me antsy to be in new places. The loveseat is upholstered in chocolate faux pony skin, and your Isfahani carpet is worn through on the edge of the diamond-shaped center medallion. The walls are lined with wooden bookshelves crammed with well-read volumes, but I do not feel comfortable or reassured. I hear you coming before I see you; you are softly whistling “Over the Rainbow”.

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