Close Encounters With Shoes.
It seemed like any other day. Little did I know, it would be a day I would remember forever.
I decided to stop home at lunch yesterday. I pulled into my parking space and fumbled with my unnecessarily enormous work bag as I opened the door to our condo building.
And then I heard it.
That steady, familiar clomp clomp clomp. I knew the cadence by heart, though it was slightly unfamiliar since it wasn't 3 in the morning.
I immediately panicked. OMG, Shoes. Now? Here? Now? Will she know it's me? Does she know how many times I've cursed her and her stompy heels and DogShoes and BoyfriendShoes? How many times I've wanted to banish her to sleep under the mailboxes?
I was flooded with confrontational panic. I'll just calmly introduce myself as her downstairs neighbor. Maybe the bags under my eyes will serve to teach her a lesson. I could imagine her coming home from work that night ...
"Hey, I met the girl downstairs. She seems so nice, but she looks exhausted. Do you think maybe it's us keeping her up? Maybe I should take off my tap shoes after class and not practice my 80's dance moves on our hardwood floors. You think?"
BoyfriendShoes would nod in agreement, gently setting down his cinderblock art project. "You're right, honey. I'll move my Cinderblocks in Repose outside near the mailboxes so I'm not making so much noise."
They hug as they take off their shoes and slip into soft, fluffy slippers. DogShoes wanders out from the bedroom, and gestures towards his paws. They smile and kneel before him.
"Yes, DogShoes. We'll take off the horseshoes from your feet. You're right. You don't need those. It's just unnecessary noise."
... but this fantasy disappears as Shoes comes around the corner and I freeze. She barely glances at me.
We pass, two shoe ships in the night, me going to my apartment and Shoes moving towards the parking lot. Her clomp, clomp, clomps Doppler away, and I suddenly wonder what the woman below me thinks about my 11 pm ellipmachine adventures.
Shoes. You have taught me a lesson about love and respect.
And the value of earplugs.