Oracle of the foot

Through her kitchen’s rear window on Reservoir Street Lucinda could see, over the rooftop of a tire shop and against the background of shaggy palms, the high, rotating sign of the Foot Clinic. It depicted a cartoon foot with features and tiny limbs: one side a happy cared for foot, beaming and confident, white gloved hands jubilantly upraised, the other side a moaning, broken down foot, neglected and weary, grasping at crutches and with its big toe wreathed in bandages.

Lucinda’s view took in three quarters slice of the sign as it turned in its vigil over Sunset Boulevard: happy foot and sad foot suspended in dialogue forever. The two images presented not so much as a one-or-the-other choice as an eternal marriage of opposites, the emblem of some ancient foot based philosophical system. This was Lucinda’s oracle: one glance to pick out the sad or happy foot, and a coin was flipped, to legislate any decision she’d delegated to the foot god.

From You Don’t Love Me Yet by Jonathan Lethem

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