What little sky that peaked through the oppressing cloud cover was an uncomfortable blue, piercing my eyes and causing me to avert my gaze. With contempt, I stomped up the concrete stairs to the door to my apartment, the metallic, hospital-issued cane that I used for balance clanging against the railing on my left side as I pulled myself along the bare wall on my right. About halfway up, I was forced to bend over and tie the laces of my army boots. They had served their purpose in Afghanistan, but back here in New York they placed unnecessary weight on my damaged leg, their black leather now faded to a dusty brown as they continued to act as the only pair of shoes I owned. My eyes stared at them so heatedly that for a second I imagined that if I blinked, the next thing I would see would be two gaping holes bored into their tongues. Shaking with the effort, I climbed back up and within minutes was closing and locking the door of 221b behind me. The next thing I knew, I was nearly falling over because my toe had caught on some box that had been purposefully laid down in the middle of the entry way. Picking it up and cracking the lid open, a pair of new, arch support tennis shoes greeted me underneath some light tissue paper, and tucked in between them was a slip of hastily folded paper with my boyfriend’s inept handwriting on it. From what I could read as I absently scratched the stubble on my chin, he had somehow known that I had not found a job today, and hoped that I wouldn’t mind if he cooked my favorite for dinner tonight. Without a second thought I kicked my boots off my feet and they went flying into the bowels of a closet across the way.
May 28, 2011