Thursday, 23 September 2010
Lost Sole - Friday Flash
Lone shoe on the grass verge. Flat, black, cheap patent. Three rhinestones by the toe. Lone star. Dainty. Lady's shoe. Lady's fingers, okra's too stringy for me. The old woman who lived in a shoe, on a shoestring budget. Cinderella's slipper among the broken glass. Limping home in a solitary shoe. Light scuffing, slightly worn heel. But perfectly wearable. Flat shoe not broke. Was she drunk when it slipped off? How else could she not notice? Maybe the other shoe's somewhere around here. Some would-be local Imelda will see she's down a pair. Just three for me, trainers, oxblood DMs and leather uppers for weddings/ funerals. Downers. Women buy new shoes that are different. Men look to exactly replace what is worn out. Once my DMs had their air sole punctured by a nail. £50 for a new pair. Doc Marten would turn in his grave if he knew his remedial footwear had become a fashion item. The slip on. A quick escape into the outside world. Shooing yourself out of the house. Shoo like a pest. Anything but a shoe-in. That Arab journalist who threw his shoe at a US President. The sole of the shoe has always been regarded as the lowest of the low. And with the dogshit round here you can see why. Unlike the noble soul. No shoes on in a Mosque. Entering sacred ground, the mundane earth must be kept outside. My mother operated a version of the same dirt anxiety. But hers was more borne out of avoiding inconvenience. Feet unconfined by shoes are free to grow. Accordingly I have unfeasibly large plates, bigger than anyone else in the family and a bugger to buy my size. Only size 7 shoes arrayed in a shoe shop. Shoes arrayed outside a Mosque. Sign of life and vibrant community. Solitary shoe here, sign of loneliness and abandonment.
Something unsettling about abandoned shoes.
News footage of massacres and bomb atrocities. People shedding their footwear as they try and run, or are blown to kingdom come so all that remains in contact with the earth is their shoe. Actually, now I come to remember as well, the Auschwitz museum has a room filled with abandoned shoes. Just stacked willy nilly to convey the scale. The extirpation of a community and a race.
I hope the woman got home okay.
Many thanks to Elly @quietriot_girl for title