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Aged Shoes

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Can shoes be aged, like a fine wine or beef? I wonder. Several years ago I purchased a pair of shoes at Walmart. You know what they say–you can’t put a Florsheim foot into a Bally shoe–and I wore them one day only to suffer excruciating pain, blisters, the works. I was reminded of Steve Martin’s comedy bit about “Cruel Shoes” but even laughter did not make the pain go away. I threw them into the back of my closet.

The homes in my neighborhood were built in the 1930’s. In Miami, this qualifies as “historic” much to the bemusement of my European friends. For the most part, the houses have very little closet space. There’s speculation that this is because these were designed to be snowbird winter homes, and you could only bring so much with you on the train. Or it could be that an architectural detail such as large closet space wasn’t all that popular then. In any event, with little closet space, new shoes piled on top of the old to make a small, dung-like mound. I normally pick my shoes off the top, unless I’m in my Elvis Costello mode and need the pair of red shoes. The cruel shoes made their way to the bottom of the pile, and have sat there, I believe, for about four years.

One of the problems that arises when you have more than one household is trying to find things in one that you left in the other. This is a little disorienting, especially given the relationship between memory and topography–more on that later–so that the result is a frantic search to look for things that aren’t there. In this case, I was looking for a pair of shoes that, I discovered later, were sitting gathering desert dust in Riyadh.

But in that search I dug into the bottom of the pile and found the cruel shoes, untouched for four years. When I put them on, they were received my feet invitingly. The leather was supple and no longer rigid or plastic like. It was as if my feet had been surrounded by a warm, caressing envelope of love.

This could not be. I went out for a walk. The shoes conformed to my every step; almost inviting me to run. There were no bruises,no blisters and certainly no pain. At the moment, they are now my favorite pair, though hopelessly out of fashion.

So I ask you, is it possible to age shoes? Should shoes be allowed to sit, after decanting, like a fine wine?

Written by mokane

November 1, 2008 at 11:55 am

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. LOL I think you know the answer to that lol Just catching up on your blogs and yes im laughing my ..Off.

    Gracy

    DreamScapeGracy

    November 11, 2008 at 7:24 pm


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