We haven’t talked much about Theresa lately, but I assure you I saw her just today, hobbling around downtown in her stockinged feet. She was dressed up fancy if a tiny bit toned down, her usual peacock feathers replaced with owl earrings that you couldn’t see unless you looked really close. They hid in her black hair. It was daytime, after all, and owls are nocturnal.
On her legs were tights in a black fake cable knit, and the soles were being torn up by the concrete and the cobblestone. In her left hand were her shoes, lovely black Mary Jane heels that reminded her of the ones her great grandmothers wore when they were flappers in front of Tin Lizzies. They didn’t hurt the day she tried them on and bought them, and she even stretched them out around the house, breaking her own “no shoes in the house” rule. But now the shoes are in her hand because they’re tearing her feet up into bits and shreds and she just can’t stand pain of any sort any more. A non fat pumpkin spice latte is in her right hand and she’s walking with great purpose and hoping to God there isn’t any broken glass in her path. She remembers that she hates shoes. Hates shopping for them. Hates wearing them. Her feet are too long and more than a little too splay footed to impress potential fetishists. Did you know that having out-turned, ducky feet makes for perfect hiking form? They’re able to grasp onto rocks and roots where normal feet would slip, fall, falter, twisting ankles and ruining pretty Fall days in the mountains. Did you know that?
Theresa puts the hateful shoes of her ancestors back on when she reaches the parking garage where she is parked, and not a moment too soon, because that’s when the tears begin. In spite of the pumpkin spice and the barefooted relief and the beautiful day, they begin and she misses her peacock feathers.