The topic for Sunday Scribblings this week is "My Shoes." And although I have many beloved pairs of shoes, including these, that I could write about, I've written a "tiny story" instead:
A Tiny Story About Shoes
If she didn’t learn to dance now she knew she never would. Years had a way of slipping by like strangers in a street and too many had passed already without dancing. She longed to move like they did in old movies, to possess all her nerves and sinews and draw herself together into a creature of breath and body and rhythm and heat. So she lit candles for the muses and put a Fred Astaire movie on TV, then she reached up to the high closet shelf where the shoes waited, still wrapped in the brittle tissue of another century. Her notorious grandmother had danced with tyrants and poets in these shoes, on the decks of ocean liners under impossible moons. These shoes knew something about rhythm and heat even if she did not. She sat down to fasten the fragile buckles and wait for Fred Astaire to start dancing again, and she fell asleep like that, curled up on the sofa in her wise shoes. She dreamed she could move like silk in the wind, like an odalisque’s hips, like willow branches, like jazz shimmying from a clarinet, and she woke in the morning exhilarated, her limbs alive with the memory of movement. She marveled at her aching feet. The tape had run to its end and the cats were crouched on high shelves out of reach. She fancied they watched her with new admiration, and they wouldn’t come down until she had tucked the shoes safely away in the closet and closed the door.
PS - I’ve discovered two scrumptious new words: ‘eldritch’ and ‘smaragdine.’ Weirdly, I feel as if I found them on the ground and put them furtively in my pocket instead of asking around to see who dropped them. I’m afraid to use them! ‘Eldritch’ comes via Kelly Link’s story Magic for Beginners (she’s one of my current favorite writers; if you haven’t read her stories: wow. Do.). And ‘smaragdine’ was just lying waiting for me on the counter at Starbucks. Literally. They’re doing some promotion for the new spelling bee movie and have word cards at the registers. Weird!