These shoes are gorgeous, I say to him, but they are awfully big. Why would anyone make such huge shoes?
They were made for a big girl, the old guy says. Or rather, for a girl with big feet.
When I say girl, he says, I mean young woman. Beautiful, she was. But I had no shoes to fit her. She was so disappointed. She loved a pair of red shoes I had, and some green sandals – like those over there – with little tassels. But they were both way too small.
I imagine she was a blonde, I say to him. She’d have to be. To go with those shoes. Or did she have long black hair? And I bet she was dressed in one of those pencil skirts. You know, with a slit up the side.
I don’t know about that, he says. I only noticed her feet. You should have seen those feet walk. No tripping or stumbling for them. I’ve never seen feet walk so steadily, so firmly. They were the kind of feet that knew where they were going and wouldn’t stop until they got there. They were those kind of feet. I loved her big feet.
So I told her I’d make a pair of shoes specially for her, that she should come back. Next Wednesday, I told her. I’ll have them ready for you, I said. I didn’t tell her they were going to be silver. I’d already decided that. Because she was a silver kind of girl. Not an angel, don’t you think that, not for a minute. No, I’d never be interested in an angel. Angels’ feet are tiny, too delicate because they don’t have to walk, they fly everywhere. Their feet are no use to anyone. OK, she said and she smiled, a small secret smile and I thought ah-ha, here we go my boy, this is your lucky day.
And I set to work that very evening. Worked day and night and had them finished by the Wednesday. I wasn’t going to charge her. Not a penny. All I wanted was to see her lovely big feet walk in my silver shoes. I was sure she’d come back. I was waiting for her.
Anyway, that’s all long ago now, and I suppose it’s time I let someone else have them, so if you want them I’ll give you a good price.
Well, I said. I’m sorry, I really am. I like them, I do, honestly, but I don’t think I can fill shoes like that.
I bet she got there, he says thoughtfully, dreamily.
Where? I ask.
There. Wherever those feet wanted to go. I’m telling you, those are the kind of feet that get there.
The shoe sculpture is “Gabrielle” by Mathieu Isabelle, Place Ville Marie, Montréal, 2013
This is Blurt #35 in my Year of the Blurt! My new year’s resolution was to write one Blurt – a quick, spontaneous story – each week through 2016. If you’d like to read more, scroll down through my blog posts or click on 2016 Thursday Blurts. Thanks for visiting.