After my adventure with my orange shoes I stopped looking for shoes or noticing them and stopped my frenzied visits to the mall. I satisfied myself with the idea that my orange dance shoes gave me a crazy thrill and my red street shoes gave me a small doze to help me get through the rest of the time when I wasn’t dancing. My orange dance shoes were my nicotine fix and the red street shoes were my nicotine patch…. when I needed to pretend that I wasn’t a smoker. I was a perfectly normal person as long as you didn’t look at my feet. Ankles and up was boringly sane. I told myself that as long as that craziness was restricted to below my ankles I was still in control and that I was secure enough to allow insanity to invade that insignificant part of my body. After all, whoever will notice my feet? …. nobody.
I was happy with the new equilibrium in my life and then one day I walked into a boutique to buy a t-shirt when I noticed something in the corner of the store. It was placed seductively on a table stand surrounded by lacy garments with a spot light surrounding it. It looked like a movie star from the sixties standing on stage anticipating applause. Purple shoes. I knew I had to try the purple shoes on just to try it out. Once I put the shoes on I sensed something that surprised me. A quiet sadness, similar to the sensation that you might feel when hear the violin played, it makes you feel morose, but you keep listening because there something beautiful about it never-the-less. I didn’t want to cry in the shop and so I had to buy the purple shoes in order to explore the sensation quietly at home. Whenever I put the purple shoes on I would feel lonely in my soul. I could be in a room full of people, but I would happily sit is a corner by myself absorbed with the thoughts in my head. There was something delicious about that state, like I was self contained yet distant. Like I was getting in touch with an ancient feeling but experiencing it in a new and fresh way. I was hearing the notes of the hollowed reed that Rumi talks about, yearning to be planted in the reed bed. Purple shoes are great! If they are dark enough they almost look like black shoes, they don’t stand out as much as red shoes. Also purple goes with a wide array of other colors and therefore is easy to wear. Just when I was getting used to my newly acquired silent nature and enjoying contemplating gentle thought, I walked back into the same store where I bought the purple shoes and in the same corner of the same table stand I found ….. a yellow sandal.
These weren’t any old yellow sandals. These were yellow strappy sandals with a blue design and decorated with rhinestones. They look like a puffy French pastry decorated with icing. O! How could I resist? I bought them without even trying them on. With the yellow sandals I discovered a new thrill .. the thrill of matching nail polish with the color of the shoe. I discovered that red, blue or green nail polish goes very nicely with these shoes and I could exercise my creative juices by choosing different nail polish, which very quickly led me down the slippery road of nail art. I started by painting simple flowers on my big toes and ended up by experimenting with finding novel ways to glue tiny little rhinestones on my nails. I remember the look of surprise on the sales person working at the art supply store when I answered his question “What are you planning to do with these?” I was purchasing a bag of tiny little black rhinestones. I told him that I was planning to glue them onto my toe nails. He had a look that said “I have heard about all sorts of wacky art projects, but this one tops it all.” At last I found street shoes that gave me as much enjoyment as my orange dance shoes. I could finally live happily ever after.
It seems that not all was well in the universe of my feet. One day I saw orange strappy sandals and started thinking that owning them would allow me to experiment with purple nail polish and orange nail polish. The canvas of the cuticles of my toes was craving new colors. I could double the joy by switching between yellow and orange shoes. So I had orange shoe days and yellow shoe days.
Two is company three is a party so that is when I got these beautiful wedges that have a scarf as straps to make my summer into a freewheeling nonstop fiesta. Although the brown wedges have a few short comings, like they are hard to walk in, so I can only wear them if I am going to be sitting most of the time and they only seem to go with one particular white dress which means I have less freedom in what I wear; having them on my feet on the few occasions when circumstances were just right was worth overcoming the obstacles.
It was during that summer that I had the pleasure to meet the acquaintance of one of the most stupid questions in the world: “Why do you need to have all these shoes?” Anybody who asks that question should be forced to wear a dunce cap and made to ride a donkey backwards and paraded in his home town while everybody throws tomatos at him. I also got to relish the opportunity to answer one of the said most stupid questions in the world: “You stupid twit, off course nobody needs that many shoes, but I want them”.
I was having so much fun, that one summer, with shoes, nail polish and matching them with outfits, I completely neglected a quiet malice that was hiding right under the arches of my feet.
To be continued.
read The Sequin Shoes Next