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

27 comments:

Gracie said...

I hope she got home okay, too. Interesting stream of consciousness here.

Well done, as always.

Cathy Olliffe said...

Hey Marc - as a graphic artist I got a giggle over your innovative use of fonts. Way to add impact! The green was a nice touch, too. Kudos to Ellie for the title.
Shoes at the side of the road are always thought-provoking. I heard somebody on the radio talking about it one day a long time ago - apparently the shoes in question are almost always shoes for the left foot.
As a mother of a child who once pitched his father's watch out the car window, I usually imagine toddlers responsible for the mysteries of roadside shoes.
DId I mention that I really enjoyed your story?

Carrie said...

I liked this and have often thought the same thing. How can people lose ONE shoe and not notice? Shoes on overhead wires. Shoe in tree. A shoe on the highway...

Nice work Marc.

G.P. Ching said...

My brain likes your writing. This sparked so many ideas and connections and the way you chose to lay it out on the screen was brilliant.

TF said...

I like it, Marc. And I agree - there is something inherently unsettling about the abandoned shoe. The fact it is single and not in it's usual, necessary pair, separated from the human who wore it, quickly translates to 'story', doesn't it? Your allusion to this is nicely done.

More poetics of ruin.

John Wiswell said...

Whoa, heady formatting Mr. Marc. Digging the colors and font variations.

Eric J. Krause said...

The structure and design of the story worked well for this. The changing fonts helped break up the long chunk of text quite nicely. It made this stream-of-consciousness story much more approachable, and good thing, too, because it would have been a shame to miss this one. It's quite well done, an excellent story.

Janet Lingel Aldrich said...

Really cool stream of consciousness; smooth humor and moments of sharp, poking sadness. Very nice.

Deanna Schrayer said...

I loved this so much I went straight to tweet it and almost forgot to leave a comment.

Fantastic stuff Marc, and I love the experimental fontiness (word?). :)

Sulci Collective said...

Yes it's Word. I tried doing it handwritten, with the lines coming off like a Catherine Wheel firework, but it would have been too small. One day I will conquer these typographical impedimetns

Icy Sedgwick said...

You're right, there is something incredibly unsettling about finding one abandoned shoe (unless the heel has snapped off, and then it's clear why it was abandoned)

Shoe fetish central!

Lou Freshwater said...

This is brilliant. I always think of shoes and glasses as somehow more organically linked to the individual, and you really punched that out here. I also must admit it is once again comforting to be around other writers - because of course I thought I was the only one to have pondered and pondered those highway shoes.

Sulci Collective said...

Lou - I cover glasses in my novel!

I just think writers are curious people, they see something and they let their imagination rip on it. Then they write up their findings!

squidinkinc.com said...

I don't want to say stream of consciousness again, rem I enjoyed the mental outpouring, have you seen 'dreams that money canlayout there is a woman who's thoughts can be heard spiralling and rambling in a similar way... layout reminded me a little of one of those Victorian adverts for corsets.

Melissa said...

I love this! The stream of consciousness, glimpses into peoples' minds (how they muse on a shoe says a lot). And of course I love the fonts as a form of expression. Abandoned shoes (especially just one!) are unsettling, although where and when found, in various ways. Your piece made me think of a photograph by a friend.

http://www.redbubble.com/people/gimbal/art/5035263-3-abandoned-shoes-west-hollywood

CathrynLouis said...

Who knew that a sole could touch my sole. I've seen several abandoned shoes lately. Now I wonder...

Maria A. Kelly said...

Love it, Marc. I've always wondered too, whenever I've seen an abandoned shoe. I wonder...does it miss it's twin? Yes, they are very unsettling. Great story.

Linda said...

Um, this is brilliant: the play on shoe and sole and the SOC, and yes, of course, the abandoned shoe which strikes me as so odd but I would never write about a single shoe, but you would, you amazing dude, you. Peace...

David G Shrock said...

Great use of fonts, works well in telling the story. I don't see anything unsettling about finding a single shoe. People lose shoes, usually one at a time. Though they do make one wonder. Do they fall out of passing cars? I sometimes see feet sticking out windows.

dijeratic said...

This was quite a bit of fun - though I didn't find it unsettling, what I enjoyed was the weaving in and out of ideas (like passing billboards and shop signs)and the mystery of what happened, much in the way it might play through an open mind, in a dream, perhaps.

Virginia Moffatt said...

This is great. The weaving together of ideas,really feels like someone's thought processes as they look at the shoe. And the last line is terribly poignant. Probably she did, but what if she didn't? Great stuff. I too like the title!

Chance said...

Very interesting style, reminds me of those animated text things you get.

Also, thanks for the comments on my last piece.

A. S. Boudreau said...

abandoned shoes are always disturbing to me too.. especially when I see them on a road or roadside for some reason...

Susan Cross said...

I love stream of consciousness. In the '70s I wrote a lot of it but didn't have so many font options (on my manual typewriter). Perhaps I'll dig some out of the box of my old stuff. You have inspired me. I want to get back to myself.

Your story read as a thriller to me. I watch too much CSI and finding a single shoe can only mean one thing... Great read for me.

Laurita said...

Loved the stream of conciousness flow of this. Abandoned shoes are always an intriguing mystery.

Rebecca Emin said...

What a wonderful piece. Just so... well... random! I love the style of it with all the different fonts, the thoughts seemingly plucked from memories etc. Really fun to read.

PJ said...

That was a very fun piece - so many random thoughts brought together by a - er - um - shoelace ;-) Well done, Marc!