Goldtoe. That's what stuck in my mind. The letters picked out with no real thought, or so it seemed to me at the time. As to who or what Goldtoe was, I had no idea, in fact this name was not what I should've been really focusing on, when it all happened.
It's like when you're flipping through a book, a magazine, a newspaper, and suddenly one word appears in your head. One of the hundreds you've flipped past and unconsciously processed. And of course, now, you have to go pack through the pages and find that one word. It's that strange, lost feeling of unraveling your own thoughts: the detective already inside the mystery.
So Goldtoe was in my mind, those gold-on-black letters imprinted on the side of that groaning truck, the truck that knocked down Jerome Walden. Well, knocked down is something I said to people later, but really he was carried. Like some theme park ride, the truck's front grill picked his body up and held it there. He was the figurehead on a diesel-chewing, brake, screaming ship, until it he magically detached, flailing out into the air. Those real human twists of his arms, that was when Goldtoe disappeared, and I realised it was a real person flying hard into the corner of a bank, crunching real bones against brick, scraping real skin against the concrete of a pedestrian walkway, coming to rest.
I stared at Jerome Walden's body. He had come to rest under an ATM, whose screen was still blinking through a series of, I imagined, helpful messages. People were running to him now, or at least—and this was what I actually thought—running to what used to be him. Then I saw Jerome Walden in my mind's eye, peering at me from behind a doorway, his white-gold thin hair shaking its way from the dreary grey of another office day. Susan, said Jerome Walden's face, if you can't do your own work properly, please don't bring me into it.
Was I the last person to see his face making real, ugly, expressions? Was I the last person to hear him speak tawdry, human words? That joint report, to which Jerome Walden had contributed nothing and expected everything, was the last thing in on my mind before Goldtoe streaked across it. What was Jerome Walden thinking, what spiteful ideas was he stewing, before a truck wrenched him from the ground and then threw him back to it?
Whatever last thoughts he had were now smeared—with all the rest of gravity's head-mess—onto the concrete underneath the ATM, where unsuspecting shoes met a pulpy surprise as they stepped from the bank's silent sliding doors.
With all the excitement done with, with the sounds of sirens echoing far away, and with only 20 minutes now left for lunch, I felt it only right to walk away. Jerome Walden valued consideration—after all—above all else.