Wednesday, January 11, 2006
My shoes are Nazi Death Camp survivors. No- my shoes are Nazi Death Camp victims. My shoes never did any wrong to anyone. My shoes have always done right by me. My shoes give and give and give, and ask so precious little in return: "Tie me once in a while. Retrieve me from your dog's mouth. Just look at me from time to time."
When is the proper time to retire a shoe? Your shoes will never tell you- they will continually toil away at carrying you to whatever event it is that people like you with shoes like yours go. Your shoes are not socially sensitive; if they are out of place, do they cower in a corner? Do they shy away from expensive, polished marble floor, even while knowing that the bretheren that created them, gave them life, years, maybe only months ago, perhaps in Honduras, perhaps in Taiwan, are the same bretheren whose family immigrated to a desolate European country to die in a limestone quarry to make a measly pittance to send back home to combine with the shoe-makers measly pittance in order to simply feed a starving family, namely their own?! No, of course not! The things a shoe knows do not have an effect on the shoe the way the same thing would have an effect on you or me. A good shoe is like a good dog. Fuck it, even a bad shoe is like a good dog. A bad dog is not like anything. A bad dog shits on good shoes. But, that's bad dogs for you.
Sometimes a shoe can tell you something. It must certainly have to be important, as shoes do not usually make it their business to communicate with their wearers. No, they are only concerned with the next step, the next puddle, the next clutch.
Sometimes a shoe begs to be let go, to return from whence it came. Well, not really to return from whence it came, unless you got your shoes from a dumpster, which is not altogether impossible, I suppose.
I noticed it last evening, when I was drunk. It still counts.
My shoes were a salty old eighty-seven year old man, just stirring from a coma after several massive strokes and bypass surgery. Stuck on life support, with no hope for recovery, they peered up, pleading, if only for a moment, with those piercing, ghostly green eyes that all his seamates would later constantly refer to during and after the funeral. Simply to say, "Please," and nothing else, except for the recognition and memory of all the time you'd spent together over the sprawling, inky past in the course of a single second.
You knew immediately what had to be done.
But in reality, they awoke in a nightmare flurry of burned skin and leperous boils, and while the screaming reassured you that they were indeed still alive, you knew that you would soon level the .38 in your left hand at their right temple and end their misery forever. You had shed no tears.
Don't they appear to be screaming in abject terror?