The Truth About Shoes

February 10, 2009
By , ., IA
Stephen sat on the hardwood bench in his house's foyer across from an array of shoes. His hazel eyes searched for his, as he did this, he made several observations.

He saw his sister's delicate powder pink ballet flats placed in the corner angled in a way that it did not touch any of the family's shoes. He spied his father's deep mahogany work loafers paired casually next to his mother's beaten down old New Balance running shoes. Each pair of shoes sat somewhat harmoniously together, but also in some kind of unexplained discord. His eyes blinked steadily as he saw things from a new perspective.

In each individual shoe he could not help but notice the owner's personality dimly shine from every worn sole and every untied lace. Stephen mulled over his new thoughts.

His Father's work loafers suggested he was a very careful man, in which he was. They suggested he took work seriously, and in some way, he did. His work provided his family with shoes, clothes, and a shelter. The story the shoes did not tell was the one of a man's struggle with alcohol. The shoes did not tell of the nights where he tore the house apart looking for more bottles to pop when every liquor bottle was emptied without a drop left. The nights where he cried over the fear that he had lost his life long battle to sustain from alcohol.

His Mother's shoes weaved quite a different tale. The worn down sole's of her tireless running shoes displayed her love of exercise and her never ending energy. The sweat absorbed by the shoes held many secrets she had kept to herself. Secrets she had so carefully kept in every pore of her skin. The heartache, the sins, the side of herself nobody except the road and her running shoes saw and knew. The women hardened by a husband battle on the edge.

The pink ballet flats in the corner conveyed his sister's complete lack of interest in her family. Stephen could almost clearly envision his sister's face contorted into a twisted frown marked by a twisted family, a family she had no trust in to keep together, a family she tried hard to avoid.

Stephen thought about these things less then often, he many times tried to avid thinking about the truth. Although, there, in his family's foyer, it was one thing he could not do. He could not hide from the shoe's shear honesty, or his own revelation, the honesty his own thoughts had conjured.

He quickly adverted his mind from his problems and picked up his favored Doc Martins. He smirked in pride, the suede was worn and the soles were almost nonexistent, though despite his Mother's constant please he refused to get a new pair. After all, his shoes told his own story. The story of a young man, a bright future shining beyond. He also saw what the shoe's didn't show, the personal struggles he had and had yet to face. Confidence filled Stephen's eyes. Right then Stephen knew only himself could define who he was.

He laced up his shoes and walked out of the front door, not bothering to look back.





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