Thinking About my Thoughts About my Shoes (huh?)

17 Jan

I’m writing about shoes today. After I wrote the following and read over it, it dawned on me why I can’t focus. I think too much. Just a glimpse into my head.


I love these shoes. I bought them on sale two years ago at Payless, probably as part of a BOGO (buy one, get one half off). They’re kind of dressy, but they’re not dress shoes; I can slip into them without sitting or bending, but they’re not slippers; and they’re comfortable enough to wear all day, but they’re not hideous looking like my beloved Crocs.

If I could snap my fingers to call forth all my adult-life shoes in a pile here in front of me, I could put them in order from best to worst. This pair would be in the top ten, maybe top five.

I’ve noticed some recent wear though: little white threads poking from the seams, a few more creases on top, worn down tread on the bottom. I found myself wondering how much life is left in them and how I’ll eventually set them free; will I toss them in the trash or drop them off to be re-sold in a Goodwill store?

Last week on a rainy morning as I walked from the car to the bookstore, I felt water on the bottom of my left foot. Sure, the parking lot was wet, but it wasn’t like I was skipping through deep puddles. Immediately I stopped and inspected the area between the upper and lower expecting to see a flaw. It looked fine, but my sock was definitely wet. I thought of a painless cut, leaking blood: wet from the inside out.

Later I was sipping coffee and writing, enjoying a productive stretch without distracting thoughts. But then I remembered the earlier shoe problem, so I put my pen down and looked at the bottom of the shoe. And there it was–plain to see with the shoe bent, not so apparent flat–a crack in the rubber under my forefoot, all the way across. Ah, man!

In that second I felt the death of a favorite possession, grieving. And the end of writing.

Well, there’s no use to trim those little white threads now. They’re finished. I can’t overlook this crack.

My brain automatically calculates if a purchase was a success or a failure. If an item is a bargain, gets much use, and is able to be recycled, that a clear-cut victory. If I over-pay for something, ignore it, and then toss it, well, that’s a bad purchase.

As I sat there, I thought of other good purchases: a ’98 Honda Accord, a sherpa-lined gray hooded sweatshirt, a pair of Wal-mart jeans.

I thought of other “winning” footwear, like my current Saucony running shoes and a pair of brown Skecher boots from the late 90s.

Then: Are they too far gone now for Goodwill? I don’t want to just toss them.

I imagined a man pulling my old shoes from the shelf, sticking his feet in them, thinking: well, they’re a little worn, but I can trim these white threads. They’re worth three bucks for sure. Of course, without me there to warn him, he would overlook the crack.

And then one day, in the rain, this guy might walk outside and feel that cold shock.

What the?

He would inspect the shoe like I did, finally noticing the flaw. Ah, man!

What if he’s elderly? What if that cold wetness startles him? What if he’s crossing a busy street and it causes him to stumble? What if, God forbid, he falls into the path of a speeding car? Holy shit!

If he survives the wet sock incident, I can see him sitting at home, looking at that crack, wondering: should I throw these away or would someone else be able to use them? Heck, I could still wear them, just not when it’s wet out.

I was staring at my shoes when I looked up and saw that the barista was looking at me. Why is that guy staring at his feet? He looked away. I looked away.

And then I left.

2 Responses to “Thinking About my Thoughts About my Shoes (huh?)”

  1. Lunar Euphoria January 17, 2012 at 8:34 pm #


    that’s a lot.


  2. Kodiko February 29, 2012 at 9:08 pm #

    Reblogged this on Kodiko and commented:
    I am quite a fan if shoes in general and this particular post made me smile…

    Oh the risks associated with op shop shoes…

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