Shoes | Personal History

August 24, 2013
Edvard Munch - Workers on Their Way Home (1913)

Edvard Munch – Workers on Their Way Home (1913)

Feet. More feet. In shoes. Different kinds of shoes waiting, walking, slowly, fast, next to each other. Shoes. Comfortable ones, worn out ones. Or uncomfortable, but cool. Too cool, too high, too narrow, too old, too new. Dirty. New and clean. Old and cleaned, over time.

I look down; my shoes. What are you saying? How you doing Holmes?

A couple eating dinner on a Wednesday evening. Are they excited to be sitting down at their table, or relieved, or nervous – or just. Does he offer her the better seat? Does he/she check out the man/woman on the table over, in awe, or maybe with pity? Do they continue a riveting conversation, a lingering discussion, or stay silent, masked by two large menus.

Are they holding hands– caressing, or coordinated through habit? Are those hands guilty, or curious for where the night might take them, or tired.
They laugh, yes? They eat. They go quiet on their respective smartphones.
They don’t laugh. They eat, politely (or wildely). Which is trying to slow down and who is trying to catch up? She steals his food. Maybe he feeds her with his spoon. He likes his own food better. Maybe he doesn’t and maybe they won’t order wine nor dessert and the bill, please.

Shoes. Hers are too big, but he’s not the kind to notice. She got it on sale, she never knows her size and her shoes are always too big or too small and maybe it’s because one of her feet is too big and her whole body is asymmetrical. She never knows her size in anything, not even bras. But she knows his, all of his measurements, even when he fluctuates after a fat holiday or a month of stress. She also knows her lovers’, but not when he fluctuates because she’s only seen him four times. Four-amazing-times, she blushes, although he’s been having more amazing times with other amazing girls on other amazing nights. She knows. Everyone is a culprit in this scenario because they all know that their bodies are being shared among a pool of strangers pretending to be in love. Or pretending to be out of it, for the sake of survival. She doesn’t care, as long as her babyboy doesn’t know. He’s only entering teens but it feels like he can also smell the strangers’ sweat on both his parents. Or he can see it in the way they eat breakfast together. He’s all that matters to her.
Why is it always a he.

Bright orange running shoes. Athletic attire and potentially athletic calves, on the last train home. He is proud of his sweat, of the dirt on his shoes, the ache in his bum and of the woman he is speaking to on the phone. They’ve just met, she thinks, but he’s seen her a few times before. She never noticed him, even though they had worked on the same block for a year. But now, if you could only hear her moan, baby.

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