I had looked at them across seasons.
Kept coming back to them, even- which is not my style.
But there was something about them that was even deeper than what I was working through emotionally that year on my own, which was a right to my own sense and definition of a personal materialism.
I’d done a lot to pick out the shrapnel that comes with growing up strained and stained by the aftermath of successfully applied #Reaganomic parental tactics that exploded into full scale #waroftheroses (& filled me and my siblings with wariness over the love of money and roots and things). I’d done all the more when not facing that corrupted programming drew moneylubbers so hard when the smell of success hit that I ferociously took a vow of almost poverty- just to avoid punching people in the face who’d rather consume others than create. I’d reckoned with the covetousness of the human species over the most mundane shit for so long that even in my most happily streamlined, ascetic life there were blowbacks…which eventually freed me.
Because I saw firsthand it wasn’t the THINGS- It was what people refused to do with the things they had while watching you make the best of whatever God happened to give that day, and behaved as if you’d stolen from their pile to enjoy your own.
Me? I was both the kid whose parents paid off with gifts in lieu of love who made that shit work like a mother fuck for her [more so than my chagrined brother and sister( “You got him to get a what?!” “He asked me what I wanted and I said a mannequin!” I’d murmured, hugging it “Yall motherfuckers need to learn how to answer when folks ask you shit-“] AND the kid who could sit on the steps and make Botero shaped people out of mud playing Zeus and be happily enthralled for days. I had no idea who the fuck Paul was, but God had me at “Be cool with what it is, when it is, kid” early on, and the reality that it all changes.
And the practicals of all that is the lifelong stuff. Par for the course. To have really arrived at the season of being affectionately chastised into bona fide rewarding myself Whilst I rewrote ten f ureaking books imploded so many no longer suitable paradigms that my head spun for months. It was more than hearing and heeding “It’s Okay.” Which really was It won’t turn you into one of them- Which was the basic fear.
What if the only difference between the monster and I is the placement on the wheel?
Well frankly, that IS the primary difference, so get over it. Flesh is Flesh. But even greater than the difference is the difference Engine. Same elements…what are you Choosing to do with them, no matter the placement you are in that day?
But even more than that, it was “Not only is it okay…it’s not even that big of a deal. You haven’t even Been indulgent yet, with your pragmatic #healthydecadence. It has been Made a big deal due to all that got tied to it walking the gauntlet of your past. Hold on to the flinches from before or let that shit go and Recognize…You are busting your ass and Some of the profit of that… is okay to use to say thanks to You with.”
Fast forward to more recent nows, a woman loosed lol.
I was going about the rest of the evolution afoot out on the edge of the world, Rawktober being so intense that the playlist as a foil was sorely needed and seriously utilized. October is like the equivalent of emotional rapids to me sometimes. The year is closing for some, starting for me because my birthday has passed. All is being reviewed to find the T’s still to be crossed, the eyes to be dotted and the shit to be kicked off the list to streamline. Get all the gunk out the way because I tend to write like a motherfuck in November, across the board. This year being no exception.
…but that thing kept calling for my attention. And it’d be inconsequential- on the surface it IS inconsequential- if it wasn’t what it was.
It was a pair of shoes.
Oy vey, the shoe motif! The most pernicious- but in a good way- motif of my Life, chameleonic through all of the aforementioned peculiarities. Shoes have been pipe bombs in many a familial epic in this bloodline, so I get oddly attuned to the energy of them and their meaning. Plus my feet are Egyptian [hieroglyphic in nature lol], so size 11s and 12s weren’t exactly hard to come by- my mom has the same size and had a closet of 500+ when I was a teen, at the same time Imelda Marcos was bragging about all of hers. I remember being like “Shiiiit~! You’re a dictator…my mom works in middle management and she’s got 13 more pairs of-” We were a Well-heeled tribe, my nuclear family. I didn’t Know it wasn’t normal for men to have a ridiculous amount of shoes – and GOOD shoes, fuck tennis shoes- until I started meeting men who had like three. Then again, those men usually had motorcycles in nyc- which may or may not be the other manifestation of that energy.
But shoes factored into a LOT.
My pressing charges almost 20 yrs ago got molotov’d not over the charges themselves, no matter how pissed everyone was. Nah- It was over a refusal to do some black shoe magic over a few pairs of booties connected to that aforementioned “yall need to just tell the truth when they ask” tick. And when my mother and I made our first truce in the arc of all of our nonsense, the occasion was marked by a delivery from Cleveland to NYC from within that 500+ [in like 92- God only knows her numbers now lol] collection of Shoes, like ten pair.
She’s Nothing if not the most flamboyantly stylish shoe chick I’ve ever met- full gamut, i tell ya- & our styles are Very different. I’m edgy punk on a classic, almost preppy base… my mom was Vegas showgirl every chance she Got,even to work, and Especially on her feet- and pulled it off like a motherfuck. #Propsgiven.
Granted, None of the ones I’d gotten my ass tagged for Rupaul Love Shacking the fuck out in were in the offering (Maaan, there were these two pairs- that were technically tioght but that I LOVED so much that she used to hide them from me in case I’d put them on to practice for local runway shows in & stretch them out so she’d have to give them angrily to me- She did know the peculiar genius of her child. They were these elegant borderline stiletto pumps calmly encrusted with hand sewn sequins- a terse black pair and a subdued winter white pair[ borderline suburban clarification there with the winter white]- I don’t even know Where the fuck she got most of these damned shoes but her and Kimora Lee would’ve been able to talk for Days between the shoes and the business acumen)… BUT to show…she really was paying attention to who her brazenly Virgoan eldest daughter had been all the time no matter HOW much she threw Piscean temper tantrums to the contrary (they only show out when they are Forced to pay attention to you over the supposed autonomy of those fucking emo riptides lol)…she DID include…these baaaaad-assed slick, supple, black, sleek booties balanced on this Obscene golden stiletto heel- this was in like late 2007… that She probably scored killing a priest or something- God, there were bad shoes!Ugh!- That I wore like a pair of converses with knives in the toes that came out whenever I had to roundhouse someone lol- energetically. #KillerQueenshoes, for Real.
It was bittersweet, both a peace offering because They were the shoe I would’ve asked that unaskable request for- although the ones that were the molotov were nioce, they were not me…and also a Toastmistress forehead smack, ordering me to suit the fuck up, lol like she knew I was up there slumming as a waitress while avoiding rebranding and launching another fucking company like I’d been raised with the wherewithal to do with my eyes closed. Tho Technically…I was being a Hostess, so there lol. And I wore those fuckers to work, too.
Even beyond that, my finding my various voices for the Grievechronic universe got standardized via shoes. When no other wrangling instruction did a Damn thing with these muses, nudged by the spirit of the King and I[where he wore no shoes lol],I reread Michael Chekov’s To the actor. Chekov basically told his acting students “Find the shoes & you’ll be able to walk out the character.” I realized rereading it that THAT was the true psychology at the root of any woman’s dance with shoes, men too.
And I kept that with me for years. That cleansed a lot of the leftover pattern recognition. The shoes of my caracs are Ridunkulous lol, specific to the psyches they keep aloft.
But it wasn’t until all this …”Okay, you kept the wound clean and let it heal…so how do You feel about it?” New calibrating that I began to find my footing separate from all that. That’s how these bad boys finally happened: I let go of the stories[ so I can now use them educationally lol] and went “But Blanche, what kind of kicks express who You are now, looking forward?”
And it’s been a revelation.
Nah. Better description? It’s been a praise Dance. A rigorously edited, frugally hunted… Because the heart wants what it wants…but with the hand-off, Artemis hunts… to the death. With a batshit crazy, contented grin of capture splayed across her face.
And this particular pair that I am writing all this for watched me in the throes of that sly yet gruff , brutally beautiful hunting dance for months, as shyly “~Pick me… & I’mma wear you Out…in a good way lol… I promise lol” as I get over Keanu Reeves’ ass, esoterically speaking. They were shy, yet adamant they were mines the entire time. They were almost too sure of the love, it seemed. It made me nervous as I looked at them sideways through the clouds of fog while I harpooned prey left and right, outfitting futureshock style. I awkwardly felt like the Shoe whisperer lol. Finally it got to fever pitch state and it was yowled.
just get them already.
There was Something about this pair. They were mines. I didn’t know why, it was a mines that had nothing to do with any of the shit listed up above…but like that weirdo kid who somehow shows up under your watch and you just know speaks to everything that used to be in you that would’ve benefitted from knowing a big you when they were small, all “…okay this is my time to be what I needed back then”…I knew these mugs were somehow connected to my tribe.
I kept waiting for another Amazon to swoop in and wrangle them- They were truly Gorgeous, and those kind of shoes a brand will only make like maximum ten of in eleven and twelves and spread those 10 pairs across four regional markets for Amazons to do battle with one another for the love of. Especially THESE ones. They are quintessential Amazon shoes. No one came for these little guys, even as the price tumulted.
…Finally I said fine.
I went ” Ok, I don’t know What this is about or who made you…but I’m bringing you in. Come on, welcome to the tribe :O).”
I won’t show them to you. So if you ever meet me you’ll be staring at my feet wondering if these are the ones lol.
Except one “problem.” That can’t be fixed, but can be worked around. I was like “What the-but I-” I was totally flummoxed, because this issue and the work around made me love them even more-
But something was like “No! Send them back! They’re wrong, they don’t do the-”
…and I got all weird. Because I was like “Maybe they aren’t wrong…maybe they’re just…different! And…the work around…actually makes them look really cool and original-”
…then I realized I was debating with myself and made the call to arrange the return. The woman was like “What’s wrong with them?” and I explained it and was like do you have another I could just swap out for, even in a different color?” She said “no, they were made in Italy, a small batch and the others are sold out, but we can refund you for them being defective. I’ll send you the slip.”
I weirdly got paused on the use of the word defective… and got flashed with the idea of some apprentice making this shoe over in Italy & these coming back & him getting slammed. “You know what? Send the slip, but hold off on issuing the refund. I’ll get back to you on that part.”
I started talking to myself. I do that a lot lol. “…What if they aren’t defective…they’re just…different? What if they’re actually ahead of the curve?…they’re Doing exactly the kind of weirdo shit you would have designed into a pair of them to do for cloaked badassedness. YOU actually like it. What if somehow, they were actually made for you?”
I tilted my head pensively and typed what they were doing via the workaround and got all these future fashion forecast photos of variations on the theme these guys came into the menagerie with and whistled “Sonafa-”
wHAT IS yOURS iS YoURs.
Lil cobbler apprentice, wherever you are… thank you… for ushering in an age where the weird ish that lines directly up with my proclivities happily makes its way to rest in my lap like the unicorns they are. YOU …are proof…that the Shoe motif is now purified and solely mines.
…and thanks to mom and dad for the bizarre cinderella shoe fodder that I’ve finally burned to the ground and made pure fuel for the new from.