Bay Area Man Amazed by His Shoes Touching Concrete for the First Time
“I didn’t think it was possible,” Mr. Zilcher exclaims as he points his iPhone at his feet and snaps a few pics. “I just hopped off my Birdie,” (Mr. Zilcher’s affectionate term for these godawful Bird electric scooters that are currently littering and cluttering up San Francisco’s landscape) “and suddenly I was standing on the sidewalk. It was…amazing.”
He is aghast to say the least. Mr. Zilcher, an employee of SnipClip — a new app in San Francisco’s burgeoning tech industry that prompts its users when they need a haircut or when it’s time to clip their nails — is standing unnaturally straight, his knees not bending at all in his slim-fit jeans, and he’s staring at the pics he just snapped of his shoes on the sidewalk. “Bro. This is so incredible. Look at the contrast there, when you put the ‘vintage noir’ filter on. This pic’s going to get so many likes, bro.”
The “Bro” in question is yours truly, who is definitely not anyone’s idea of a “Bro.” But this does not stop Mr. Zilcher, who seems to refer to everyone by this handy moniker. I even heard him call his female coworker a bro-babe, which was at once ghastly and awe-inspiring in its full encapsulation of his bubble-led life’s sole demeanor: it is Mr. Zilcher’s world, and the rest of us, to him, are just monetary values waiting to be digitized into his bank account.
“It was so cray, bro.” He’s now scanning through 20 or so of the pics he just took of his shoes. “I was humming along on this Birdie, and I was, you know, listening to my Spotify playlist, not really paying like so much attention or nothing, you know, bro? And I’m like ready to like jet from the Birdie and leave it in the walkway over there…” (The walkway he’s referring to is a coffee shop entrance that has a sign over it reading, “Please do not block. Keep this entryway clear at all times.”) “…when all of a sudden my foot like slips off, and I’m like, what’s that? You know? And then I realize that my shoe’s like scraping on the sidewalk there, and it was like, well, totally literally surreal, bro.”
At this point he relates to me how this feeling came over him that he can’t quite describe except to say, “It was like not having any internet connection, you know, for a sec, and you’re like, no way, bro. This is stupid…but it wasn’t that stupid, or something.” Apparently he then tossed the scooter on the concrete — where it is still lying on its side and completely blocking the coffee shop entrance — and he then proceeded to start doing a photo shoot of his shoes, which are blindingly shiny blue-and-black Under Armour Curry 4’s. He tells me that he’s worried this newfound sidewalk walking might damage his pristine footwear, and, as he is realizing the dangers of this dilemma, he recoils a bit, gasping, “Oh, man. Bro! I didn’t realize my Currys got scuffed. Fuck. This is getting hairy.”
Soon Mr. Zilcher is back on his “Birdie” and is scooting off down Montgomery Street, almost knocking over a few unaware pedestrians who are in the midst of staring at their phones, and he glides along effortlessly in his quest to never touch his shoes to concrete again, stopping just a few blocks away in the sliding doors of an office building; and then, as the doors open, speeding on in the building so as not to have to befoul his person with the ugly and ordinary facets of being alive.