Some of you have already seen or heard versions of this weird silly story. I'm not even sure if I really like it, or if it works. It's kind of long for a blog post, but what the heck...maybe you'll like it. And maybe if you've had a stressful, weird, sad, serious week you might enjoy something totally pointless just for fun. That's my hope.
One Shoe Off, One Shoe On
There’s something bizarre about a solitary discarded shoe. On the highway you might see one crushed in the rumble strip. Another time it’s a single canvas sneaker playing dead on the sidewalk. Or maybe even a nice hiking boot chucked into a ditch all by itself. Even more bizarre was the duo I saw one day – a broken blue flip flop half buried in the dirt right next to a black high heel. A pair of lonely discarded shoes. What were they doing together?
Now, before you get the wrong image planted there in your brain, let me tell you something, this wasn’t a sexy black high heel. She was a practical black pump who longed to be more than a working class shoe. She dreamed of being on fabulous dates and dancing all night to hard thumping music. The flip flop, well his vision couldn’t be counted on anymore after the last run in with a set of Goodyear tires. He asked the black shoe what she looked like, where’d she come from, who’s foot belonged to her? I heard her tell him how sleek and shiny she was, how steep her angle from heel to toe. She knew he was hooked and kept on spinning her story. This is the yarn I heard her weave:
“One night, the woman’s delicate right foot with French manicured toes slipped out of the black stiletto. With one foot out, she could slide her bare toes up the leg of the man across the restaurant table. In the distraction of filet mignon flirting the woman didn’t notice the bus boy. He swooped in, stooped down, snatched her lipstick smeared napkin and stiletto heel off the floor then retreated back to the kitchen. In a dark corner near the steam belching dish washer the busboy stuffed the linen into the shoe and shivered at the thought of later.
Back at the table, the flambéed dessert was finished and the flirty foot began to search for its shoe. Panic set in. The $150 price tag of the missing shoe flattened the buzz of the elegant dinner (and really the loss should be figured as the full $300, since a single shoe is useless). “Dammit,” hissed the woman.
Mr. Man Across the Table, Mr. Paying for Dinner, Mr. I’m Gonna Get Some Tonight, felt his luck changing. The foot was not going to come back and play more with his calf. Instead, the naked foot searched everywhere under the table for that shoe but only found a piece of dropped baguette, an olive pit from the south of France and the cork from the second bottle of delicious Gigondas red. Despite the French manicure to suggest an affinity for things of that country, the searching toes curled in disgust with each discovery. Eyes were needed to aid in the search, so our fearful heroine dropped down on all fours next to the table.
Now might be a good time to put a name to our shoe loser – Chaussette St. Claire. With her behind high in the air, head buried under the white tablecloth, Chaussette searched to no avail. She did discover that despite his fancy Scandinavian style glasses and ability to order expensive wine, her date was wearing white athletic socks (probably the tubular variety) with his tasseled leather loafers. Whether from her new perspective down low, two bottles of the finest wine, the loss of half a pair of sexy $300 shoes or the vision of the white tube socks, we will never know. The final stake through the heart of this evening, Chaussette regurgitated her filet and flambé onto the tassels of her date’s shoes.
On the way home Mr. Very Disappointed and To Be Honest Digusted, strapped Chaussette into her seat. He made sure to leave the window down and her head propped on the sill in case of recurring regurgitation. Chaussette lifted her head from the window, looked with drunken eyes at her Disappointed, Disappointing Date. She reached down to the floor and ripped the remaining shoe off her foot. As the old Taurus wagon rounded a sharp uphill curve she flung the sleek black stiletto out the open window like a weapon of death. Chaussette cackled in victory when the four inch heel sunk into the soft dirt. It stayed there through a winter’s worth of plowing until the spring thaw and rain dislodged it. When it tumbled down through the wilted weeds it landed about one heel length away from a blind and broken flip-flop down on his luck, begging for some change.
So, that’s how I ended up here next to you,” finished the black pump.
I figured story time was over, so I started to walk on down the road. I heard the gruff voice of the flip flop asking some kind of question but it got lost on the wind. I stopped for a second and cocked my head in their direction, straining to hear the black pump answer.
“Oh, him.” she replied. “That busboy, he clearly has a fetish for discarded lone shoes. I bet he’s got my better half sitting on a shelf in some secret closet. Yeah, I bet he’s got my clean, sexy partner lined up right next to a pristine, sparkling eyed blue flip flop. Hey, how’d you get here anyway?” she asked the flip flop.
The flip flop’s smoky baritone got lost in the noise of passing cars and I had to get to the restaurant anyway, so I moved on down the road. Normally, I would have been panting at the opportunity to take these two misfits home for my collection, even dirty like they were. But I don't want pairs in my closet. The black pump was right, only the lonely shoes will do for me. Too bad I didn’t get the talkative ones the first time around.