Oxblood

I hate wearing new shoes and I’m willing to bet that 99.999% of the male population does too.
They never feel right and by the end of the day you’re walking like Donald Duck after
sniffing glue and eating one too many Skittles.
Taste the rainbow of discomfort.
The only footwear that feels right to me the first time I wear them has been (and always will be) sneakers.
I didn’t wear sneakers today.
I wore shoes. New shoes.
Uncomfortable and unbroken-in shoes.
Evil, nasty monster shoes that should be thrown into the footwear abyss where all the bad shoes go.
Actually, they were a pair of Timberland casuals, a gift from my mother-in-law that can’t say no to anything 70% off, although sometimes I wish she would.
I love her anyway.
But my feet felt like two squishy blisters about to pop as I walked to the train.
Even the people driving on Boylston looked at me, concerned, as if to say,
“Hey, man, you look like you gotta take a crap or something!”
As I limped to South Station, I began thinking about walking in my father’s shoes,
not theoretically but realistically.
I would put on his oxblood wingtips that were 6 sizes too big
and waddle around the living room tripping on things while making believe I was him.
Everyone would get their chuckle and it would be bedtime for Mick.
I liked going into my father’s closet in the hallway.
It had all of his ‘stuff’ in it and I could get lost for hours.
In the back of my mind I can see the large glass pickle jar filled with change.
It was in the shape of an actual pickle barrel and it weighed about 200 lbs
(or 90.718474 kilos) ;)
I wonder when he cashed those coins in?
It was probably after I’d lost interest in the closet and moved on to collecting
pollywogs in a rusty pail underneath the back deck.
There was all kinds of stuff in that closet: old army boots, belts that had fallen off their hooks that he forgot he even had, an empty ‘Tootsie Roll’ bank that served no purpose whatsoever and a shoebox filled with brushes, polish and stained rags.
If I could have bottled the smell of his closet, I would have.
The thing I liked best about my father’s closet was the feeling of comfort that it gave me as I sat there surrounded by his stuff. My world was safe as I sat there on the closet floor even when he wasn’t home.
These days I find myself missing the ‘safety’ that was him.
When my mother and father were well I always felt I had that net stretched out below me should ever I fall, not that I would ever use it.
I just liked knowing it was there.
The net disappeared many years ago and I really miss the feeling of calm that it gave to me.
For now, I’ll choose to cherish the memories of that special closet in the hallway that seems light years away.
Maybe it’s not that far away after all.
As I finish writing this post I can see snow falling outside the dark kitchen windows and it’s only October 15th.
Maybe it’s my mother and father’s way of telling me that I now have my own net to tend to.
They always had a way with words . . .

6 Comments

  • Interesting post.
    It made me laugh, a bit nostalgic and little bit sad.
    It also left me reminiscing in my head about your mom and dad.
    They had a way about them (though unspoken) that would get a point across loud and clear.


    Understood.
    Loud and clear.
    They had a way.
    Do you remember the closet in the hall?
    Just curious.
    Love you.
    ~m

  • Bit of a mixture happening here, as Pam said.
    The thing that struck me was the net you speak of.
    It’s had quite the impact actually, but they’re words for an email, not here…
    Enjoyed this post for more than one reason.
    The image of you as a child sitting in a closet smelling your fathers little collection is one that brings a smile to my face.
    It may be a sorrowful little smile, but a smile all the same.

    This was a melancholy post to say the least.
    Interesting how this post came about.
    It started out quite differently.
    That happens now and then . . .
    As always, thanks for reading, milady
    ~m

    .-= anonymum´s last blog ..Quality =-.

  • Our dads do cast a special net for son’s. Mums do too and when those nets are woven together they become our security. As long as we remember and share our nets with the next generation they never disappear. Its always nice to remember those special times mate. Thanks.
    Mark

    Tender, thoughtful and wonderful.
    A comment that I will cherish for reasons I refuse to admit right now.
    Thank you, Mark.
    Burnie left the building, I guess . . .
    You are welcome.
    Always
    ~m

    .-= Burnie´s last blog ..A Few Jokes For The Boy’s =-.

  • Love this.

    I winced in shoe sympathy, but also laughed out loud! It made me wistful too. I have an ancient monster of a pickle jar that I inherited. It sits in the corner of my bedroom, holding my most likely at least 200 lbs of spare change!

    Cash that stuff in before the bank stops taking it!
    Thanks so much for stopping by again.
    You have a pickle jar?!? How cool!
    And new shoes?
    Fuggetaboutit!
    Nice to see you, Ruth
    ~m

    .-= Ruth´s last blog ..signs, signs, everywhere a sign =-.

  • I was in tears before I even started reading. My dad’s shoes. Black wingtips. Like you, I clumped around in them when I was little. And I stood on them when Daddy and I danced together.

    What I wouldn’t give for one more dance with Daddy …

    If this post brought you back in time in some small way, I am blessed.
    Thanks, PT
    ~m

    .-= PiedType´s last blog ..Gimme eight … please! =-.

  • Ohhh reading this post brought a flood of memories long forgotten!
    We had a coat closet in the foyer and it was filled with my father’s coats, gloves, hats… As a little girl, I would curl up inside the closet, not to hide, but to enjoy the cozy darkness with the scent of my dad; a mixture of cigars, Juicy Fruit gum, leather and musk that was uniquely him.
    I miss him so … but thank you so much for sparking the memory of feeling safe, secure and surrounded by my father.

    Juicy Fruit, leather and musk told me all I really needed to know.
    Wonderful and thoughtful comment.
    Tanks, kiddo.
    ~m

    .-= Sue (aka LupusRanting´s last blog ..Here Kitty Kitty =-.

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