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orange chucks

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I was walking on Bingham Boulevard the other day. Thinking about all kinds of stuff. Trying to keep my mind off recent events, really.
The past few days had been heavy on my mental and emotional health. And it’s starting to show. Just the day before I had started aching in places that I’ve never even payed any attention to. But I shouldn’t have expected anything different. I’ve also been extraordinarily dehydrated, I’m guessing due to the immense crying and the fact that ever since the worst tuesday of my life, I haven’t been able to choke down more than two gulps of water.
I haven’t eaten either. I lost four and a half pounds. Mom and Dad were all worried, but were good about it. Gave me my space, and all. If they had smothered me I would have probably just ran away right then and there.
I tripped over an uneven patch in the sidewalk. I look down at my orange chucks and saw that my right laces were untied. A split second ran through my head where I was about to bend down and fix them, but then, right on Bingham Boulevard, I started to cry. Sob. Whimper and weep. Passerbys gave me strange looks and avoided me. I felt like the world around me shifted and I didn’t know where I was. I was stiff and still and couldn’t think about anything but my right untied sneaker.


“I can tie ‘em for ya.” Joie said.
She crouched down and took a good grip of my two orange sneaker laces.
“I’m a real good tier.”
I looked down at her. She loosened up the laces and pulled them tight up to the top. My foot felt snug. I couldn’t help but let out a little chuckle. She looked up at me, then got right back into her work. She looked focussed. Like she did this in her free time and trained for this exact moment.
“Done.” She stood up and we both looked down at my cleanly tied shoe.
She looked proud.
“Next one?” She asked.
I nodded, “Sure.”


From that day on I swore no one but Joie would tie my shoes. Maybe that’s why I went all weepy on Bingham. When I got home I shoved my untied chucks in my closet and haven’t touched them since. No one but Joie. I promised myself that. I never break promises. I prove that to myself and Joie everyday.
Not seeing her anymore can really get to me from time to time. I figured I had to have some closure. So yesterday I worked up the courage to grab my untied orange chucks from my closet and I walked the eleven blocks to the graveyard. I told Mom I was going for lunch.
When I got there, to the gravestone I mean, I just placed the chucks down for her and left. I had no reason to stay.
I looked back before leaving, and seeing how the bright orange hue of my ruffed up, untied chucks lit up the gloomy atmosphere and stood out amongst all the dark colors, I knew Joie wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

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