This Is Always about The Shoes

These were them, all right.

I want to tell you about the shoes.

I want to tell you enough but not too much, or certainly not the wrong things.

About the shoes.

Because this, in my subconscious, this is always about the shoes. It’s never about a movement disorder. It’s never about balance, It’s standing, in the shoes, by my coworker’s desk, talking to him about a design project, and then I’m walking with intent to the office door. I smile at him, I say, I’ll be right back! Then I walk out the door, and make sure it closes all the way behind me; I even make it a few steps to a lobby area.

And then I stop, and I look both ways before I cross into the long hallway. I turn right. I pause. I take off the shoes.

And now I’m running. No, I’m not running, I don’t do that anymore. But I am moving as quickly as I can, in, if you can believe it, pantyhosed feet. It’s silent.

It’s deafening.

I’m taking a bathroom break, no big deal. I get there, always looking around.

I get what I came for, and in the stall I put the shoes back on. Anyone who looks under here sees the shoes. I walk out and smile at the woman washing her hands, and then I do the same as she did. I wash my hands. And I walk out another door into the hallway. I look down the hall. Damn. It’s really long.

I think about Michael, back at his desk. I think about how much I like working with him, how we click in the work, how grateful I am to have the opportunity to create with him and to learn. But I look both ways before I head back to the office because getting there means taking off my shoes.

This is a vibrant space with multiple business operations, and no one here is without shoes. But I take the shoes off, and I skitter back to my office door.

I pause.

I look around.

I put on my shoes, and I open the door.

Michael is still working but looks up to say something like, Let’s keep going.

I say yes.

But what I want to tell you about is the shoes.

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A version of this essay was originally published by PD Wise in May 2021, https://pdwise.com/stories/the-shoes/.

#19, Spring 2021: 6 New Essays + Stackpole Art = Your Longridge Review

Longridge Review #19 is here! There’s an impressive blend of craft styles in this issue: flash, braid, lyric, bespoke structure. It’s gratifying to attract and publish such quality work. Dive right in, or follow us on the socials and let your mind dine with leisure as we serve up the good stuff all week.

Untitled © Sharon Lyn Stackpole

Creative Nonfiction, #19, Spring 2021

d. e. fulford, 1992-1996
Diane Gottlieb, Deadman's Float
Linda Jordan, Boyhood in 3 PartsMarie Manilla, Sasquatch
Anna Oberg, Thundersnow
Virginia Watts, Sleds

Featured Artist

Sharon Lyn Stackpole

Submissions open soon for our next issue: #BarnhillPrize, June 1-July 31.

Here are links to jump right to what’s in our latest issue! Rather than writing summaries of each piece, we are trying something new with #19. Using Facebook and Twitter, we will post pull lines from each essay throughout the coming week, paired with links to the writing.

There’s an impressive blend of craft styles in this issue: flash, braid, lyric, bespoke structure. It’s gratifying to attract and publish such quality work. Dive right in, or follow us on the socials and let your mind dine with leisure as we serve up the good stuff all week.

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