Author – John Salt
Over the last few years I’ve developed a ‘Thing’ for wearing only one shoe. I like to remove, or pretend to lose my right shoe, and wander around displaying one socked foot. But – I’ve only ever done this alone and in the privacy of my own home. I’ve never dared do this in public for fear it would be considered very odd. Until a few nights ago …
It occurred to me that an ex-girlfriend might be the perfect audience for a one-shoe display. She is one of life’s more innocent creatures – someone who wouldn’t think it odd or ask too many questions.
Even so, I thought I needed a plausible reason for why I, as a guest in her house, would be in full Cinderella mode. I hatched my plan, and on the prearranged night drove over to see her.
I knocked on her door and, as she opened it to greet me, I entered grimacing with a very pronounced limp. She was full of sweet and genuine concern, asking what had happened?
“I’ve strained my back and hurt my right foot!”
“You poor thing! How?”
“The back was trying to lift something heavy a couple of days ago. The foot was slipping down the stairs first thing this morning. It’s really painful.”
I nodded, grimacing, standing there in her hallway mostly balancing on my left leg.
“Do you think you’ve broken it? Have you seen a doctor?”
“No – its not broken. Just badly bruised. It doesn’t actually hurt too much without a shoe.”
“Well do you want to take your shoe off then? You should if it helps.”
“I would, but I’m not sure my back will let me bend down that far.”
“I’ll do it for you. Can’t have you in pain all evening.” She quickly knelt down in front of me as I leaned against the wall and gingerly offered my right leg forward. She took my right black shoe in one hand and raised the leg of my jeans slightly to expose the laces – and began to untie them. With the laces loosened she instructed “Tell me if this hurts. I’ll go gently.” And slowly, almost imperceptibly, she gently began to slide the shoe down off my heel, and then towards her to gradually reveal a turquoise sock with black reinforced toes. “There – how’s that?”
“Much better. Thanks!” I replied.I was excited. I looked down at her as she knelt in front of me, still clutching my shoe. She smiled – “Good, I am pleased.” She stood up and suggested “Why don’t we go through to the lounge? I’ll bring your your shoe.”
“No, don’t bother, leave it here.” I suggested, motioning to the hall table.
She did as I suggested and began to lead the way, turning occasionally to watch me as I as took careful steps alternately on my right socked foot and left shoed foot. She commented that my limp was less dramatic without my shoe.
In the lounge we sat beside each other on the sofa. I crossed my right leg over my left to fully display my right socked foot. We talked, catching up on each other’s news. We talked for a good two and a half hours … and Cinderella loved every minute of it. Here I sat, in attractive company, minus my shoe. My right shoe was gloriously out of reach in the hall. But all good things must come to an end, and finally it was time to go. We stood, and I followed her back to the hallway.
She pointed to my shoe on the table “What do you want to do about that? Do you want me to try and put it back on again for you?”
“No thanks. I’ll carry it.” I picked up my shoe and found it fitted into my jacket pocket. “Thank you for a lovely evening.”
“Thank you for coming to see me – its been a while. What are you doing on Saturday? Perhaps we could do something if your foot’s better?”
“Perhaps we could do something even if my foot’s not better!” I responded with enthusiasm. “Provided you don’t mind me looking like Cinderella!”
“I don’t mind at all, Cinderella!”
We kissed goodnight and I departed. She stood in the doorway watching me walk to my car … my left shoe making the usual footstep noises and my right socked foot perfectly silent. My brain was spinning …. where could we go on Saturday? Where would a man missing a shoe not attract too much attention ….?