She’s wearing the shoes that belonged to me when my life was mine
She’s wearing them and they look great on her. They’re my shoes and I guess because I hardly ever wore them — they ran away and found a more appropriate owner.
I remember buying those shoes and trying them on when the mailroom guy who had a crush on me delivered them to my desk.
He always did that. He used to leave me treats too and it was kind of embarrassing. My workmates would laugh after I had made the discovery, and I would toss the stuff in the trash.
I want those treats back.
Anyway, the shoes were nice looking on the website. I had all this extra money because I was working in finance as an executive assistant. That’s what we had to do back then in order to keep a roof over our heads in a city that makes it infamously hard to effortlessly achieve that basic necessity.
Like most, I hated my day job with a passion but I was seduced by my gorgeous roommates, reliably cheap bodegas and the need to keep my wardrobe fashionably fed. I was always hungry and I ate a lot. My tastes varied and I developed an insatiable appetite for shoes.
The online market was just hitting its stride and I’m sure people like me had a lot do with that. It was so pleasant to sit there in between calendaring meetings and transferring phone lines — as I massaged my lit up screen with the cart of my choice.
Sometimes I was lucky. Actually, I almost always managed to select the right menu. When the goods arrived, I would half-open for a nice peek, and then ravage them in my spacious bedroom.
I was nestled in Washington Heights back then. Nice neighborhood. Scenic, boisterous, culturally-balanced, the best Dominican restaurant in the city, and the perfect training ground for my new platforms.
First times are notoriously awkward, sometimes painful, and often times disappointing.
You try again and hope for better. In this case, I got distracted by the other flavors that swept me off my feet.
So, the bonding ended before it began and I never looked back. Except that time when the exotic trips stopped and I was forced to curb my habit out of respect for the fact that I had moved on to weedier pastures.
There they were in the box — daring me and I couldn’t take it. I thought it was for the best to spare them. I didn’t realize that they had the audacity to haunt me after everything we didn’t share.
The scorned find ways to torture and as I sit here after just being told that this week will be my last because they have nothing else for me to do — she saunters by in my shoes.
She’s carrying her workload with purpose. She clearly has something to do and wherever she goes she won’t stumble because she knew what she was walking into when she my shoes found her.
She catches my glance and I turn away. I’m not embarrassed that I’m leaving. I’m just absorbing the life I used to have when I was wearing her shoes.