If Shoes Could Talk

On the Saturday before the Fourth of July holiday, we shopped early at a local Kroger’s store, assuming it would be crowded later with people buying everything grill-able. We loaded our groceries into the car around 9:20 a.m., and my partner remarked that he’d taken an interesting photo showing a pair of castoff wedge sandals that had extremely high heels. I asked where he’d seen them, and he gestured to a small shrubbery island near our parking space.

“Take a look,” he said.

I looked where he’d pointed, got out of the car, and walked to the island, where the shoes rested on a bed of mulch. Size 8 and apparently new, with no visible indication of wear. My first thought was to take them into Kroger’s for their Lost and Found, but my second thought was perhaps someone had set them aside to load groceries into their vehicle–and would soon be back to reclaim them. I left them as they were.

Driving home, I toyed with various possibilities, and realized that “found” items are often the inspiration for poetry or prose. One of the most poignant examples was at a remote, country cemetery I visited a few years ago. I found the grave of a little boy who’d passed at around four years of age. A loving person had left gifts–toys and items that seemed to have progressed in both newness and age-appropriateness for eleven years.

On a lighter side, I won a stuffed rabbit at a Christmas Eve White Elephant exchange. On returning home and examining the fluffy toy, I found a hidden zipper compartment that, when opened, produced a pair of sheer, lacy, thong panties. Who knew?

As for the shoes, here are a few prompts if you are in the mood to write:

Someone changed for comfort, and neglected to put them back in their vehicle.

Someone shoplifted, became scared of being caught, or felt guilty, and tossed them.

A teenager, angry over criticism of her fashion choice, threw them out of the car.

A woman twisted her ankle, and disgusted, tossed them.

A disgruntled sibling threw sister’s shoes out of the vehicle in spite.

A domineering partner called them “slut” shoes and threw them out.

Kidnapped. carjacked, or abused woman kicked them off to signal she needed help.

Or . . . a kidnapper tossed the shoes so his victim couldn’t run away.

A gift rejected by recipient who wanted something more expensive (red soles).

There’s one more, but I’m saving it; I need inspiration on these baking summer days, when the sun drives me indoors to my computer.

Always look for the unexpected.


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