Author – Al Wunshu
Since I was a little boy I have been fascinated by the Idea of losing a shoe; I guess Cinderella has a lot to answer for! When I was fourteen I was going on a paper round with a friend on his bike. We finished the round and were going home. I was riding with him on his bike when, going downhill his brake cable broke and we couldn’t stop. We crashed into a lorry, which was cornering on the wrong side of the road. We were both catapulted off the bike and landed in the road. His shirt was torn and he had a nasty gash in his arm; I wasn’t hurt but my pants were torn and my right shoe was missing. The police and ambulance were called and we were taken off to the small local hospital, me still without a shoe. Despite the embarrassment of having my right buttock exposed through the rip in my pants I felt very excited having only one shoe and I was looking forward to leaving the hospital and going home wearing only the one shoe. But then one of the policemen who had been at the scene came in with my right shoe. I felt very disappointed. The shoe had been found in a garden near the accident.
After this I started slipping one shoe off in all sorts of places, I guess hoping that someone would move it or even steal it. I used to go to a club and the quickest way home was to cut across the park. I would take one shoe off and keep it under my coat and pretend that I had lost it. But this wasn’t good enough. One night I hid my right shoe and went for a walk with one shoe and a white sock. I got some odd looks, but I found it very exciting. When I got back to collect my shoe it wasn’t there; someone had taken it. So for the first time I had really lost my shoe. I had a very arousing walk home, and found it so great that I started to ‘lose’ shoes on purpose, usually very much in public. I devised ways of losing a shoe in a place where I could get it back. The favorite thing was to let it fall between the platform and the train, then travel for maybe three or four stops before going back to see if I could get it back. Station staff were very good. But things can go wrong. One evening in London I did this on the underground, but when I got a staff member to get it for me it wasn’t there. He said it must have got caught up on the train and gone off with it. So there I was in the centre of London, on my way to a concert, with only one shoe. That was not planned; but it was very exciting. I went to the concert, then had to travel 70 miles home by train with one black loafer and one white sock. I was aroused most of the journey!