Someone Else’s Shoes

Posted: January 4, 2015 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Even though you have a good life – a great life – you often long to walk in someone else’s shoes.

Take the guy you found on Facebook – by accident – and you thought “what a funny guy” because the picture was of a road sign that read INDIAN WRITING with an arrow below the words, and the arrow was pointing at the guy, an Indian, standing in the road with a notebook and pen – writing. You ask him to be your friend and, even though he has no idea who you are, he says yes. The more posts you read, the more you like him. He is an archaeologist. You did archaeology for twelve years! He posts selfies: him on the rim of the grand canyon, him holding an ancient pot shard, him uncovering the floor of a long-abandoned hogan. Oh, how you want to walk in his shoes – for just a day, maybe two. He posts pictures of his legs spread long on a couch with his favorite cat nestled on his knees. You love cats! He is also a rancher. He posts pictures of empty cattle troughs and thirsty cows. He explains how many trips it takes to fill each trough by water truck. How much that costs. He shows pictures of dying cattle. His last post says he is out of money. Not even two pennies to rub together. You decide your shoes fit just fine.

Take your favorite co-worker. We’ll call her Eva. Everyone admires her – loves her if truth be told – not just because she is a Scandinavian beauty with hair the color of golden silk and eyes bluer than flax flowers. They love Eva because she does simple things: throws “baby” showers for newly acquired pets, remembers children’s birthdays, brings chocolates to anyone feeling down and out, and always, always laughs at corny jokes. You love Eva because she called every night for a week after your mother died. You would wear her shoes in an instant if it meant you could learn how to be as thoughtful and kind as Eva. One day Eva is fired. Gone in a snap. True, she deserves to be let go. Each day for a month she has carefully peeled the end paper off a spool of thread – thirty shades of pink – then put the end paper back. Not much, but surely dishonest. You don’t know why she has stolen thread, nor do you care. No one asks. Not even your boss – no second chances. Everyone drops Eva like a hot rock. Especially you. Stealing is wrong – even something as simple as three yards of thread is too much. Later you discover she lives in a broken down trailer on the wrong side of town with her mother – turned invalid by her drunken father. She supports both of them and two nephews abandoned by her sister. Today a hand-made quilt arrives for your newborn baby girl The card reads “Love, Eva.”

Today you decide your shoes feel a bit worn, too tight, and maybe you need to rethink the style.

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Comments
  1. hafong says:

    Love this, Alicia! I’m guilty of envy and quick to judge. This will stay with me. Thanks.

    Lily

    Like

  2. Carl Bystrom says:

    This really an amazing piece. A wonderful blend of insight and honesty with just the details needed to feel the shoes. I am delighted to be following you!

    Liked by 1 person

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