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Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Portal

I have come to the conclusion there are portals haphazardly scattered across the globe in which a person will encounter individuals they have taken great personal effort avoiding.  What has become apparent is that, the shoe store DSW is just such a place.

If I had gorgeous, shapely legs, as I did at 25, there would be more encounters over the last 2 years with the ghosts from Christmas past then the four occasions I have been shoe shopping.  One of my addictions, which given unfettered rein would encompass every available space of every available closet, is a deep love of shoes.  Now ripened to 50 I am unfortunately unable to wear strappy sandals with 3 inch heels.  That sound you hear traveling the vast distance between us is the anguished sigh escaping from the girlish depths of my existence.  Years of working in bright red, fuck me shoes have forever traumatized the appendages encased in such a delicious manner.  I most certainly paid for looking incredibly hot for such a short period of time.  Even in hindsight it is unlikely I would have behaved differently if it had been known my ankles and feet would end up looking more hobbit than human.

The first time I visited DSW, I almost missed the connection on the portal bus; since I was overwhelmed by a vision of rows upon rows of shoes.   I was in breathlessness wonder seeing so many foot decorations with such a variety of architecture and color.  This rapture occurred even while realizing my aisle, the puny middle aisle full of flats and grandma shoes had no such selection.  It was still possible to find great joy knowing the beautiful shoes existed, albeit for others.  Deep down, I was a little pissed knowing that there are people with better sticks, but I chose to let that moment pass and fully enjoy the view. 

As my addiction high began to ebb with reality of the serviceable shoes I needed to purchase, a familiar profile took center stage.  There was no reason this particular person should be in this store at this time.  Unless some unknown mathematical equation exists for people who don’t want to see each other, landing in the same distant town simultaneously as to make it a ridiculous feat.  Apparently I needed to take a class or two in physics.

Thankfully there are boatloads of shoes in DSW, so I was able to indulge my other passion; non-confrontation.   Hiding is something I'd gotten very good at, in fact it could be considered a life skill.  After several panicked minutes she left the store and I gasped in lungfuls of leather perfumed air.

A few months later needing another pair of boring flats, I encountered another human I had been avoiding, (the list is quite long), and found yet another pile of shoes to hide behind. After the 3rd repeater nightmare and needing to purchase a pair of not-sexy sandals, my uh-oh radar was on high alert.

     What will I do if I run into some unfriendlies?

I had recently concluded that non-confrontation may appear rather immature if viewed from the other side of a stack of shoes. 

     No?  You think?!

And as I perceived myself as engaged in the pursuit of enlightenment, I begrudgingly surmised there may be another way to behave in the face of someone who really, really doesn't like me.  

     What will I do?

     Since I'm getting good at being in the moment, I probably won’t even notice them.  

Yep, I have a killer instinct for this kind of thing.

One step into the store I was smacked not with the sight of delicious shoes, but a couple of serious haters.  In a respectable I Dream of Jeanie move, I zapped myself behind a large display of out of season boots, frantically asking my question a ka-zillion times, peppering the repetition with a few other un-answerables

     What will I do?

     What do I say?

     If I say something, what will they say?

     Will it hurt if they throw me to the floor and beat me silly?

The only thing I knew for sure was that I did not want to hide anymore. The objects of my reaction were at the check out for a long time, never noticing my self involved turmoil, going about their business while I hyper-ventilated into an upright, though vegetative stupor.  The portal doors closed and the moment passed leaving me in exactly the same place, with exactly the same result, minus the intention. 


After purchasing another pair of  ugly shoes I pondered what could have been done differently. Immediately the cherubic face of the Dalai Lama pops in place.  The evening before I had heard a recording of him and his voice envelopes me now. 

     “Blind faith is exactly that; blind!  Skepticism is good thing.  Always ask questions from quiet place, still mind, peaceful heart.”  

A sense of knowing arrives.  Quiet place, still mind, peaceful heart; ask question.  

     “Now Deb, what would you do if you ran into those people?”  

The words come clearly to me, 

     “I would say hi and ask them how they are doing and tell them it is surprising to see them and that I hope they bought a really great pair of shoes.”

Softness fills me and the inside of the car.  I wait to see if I'm going to pummel myself for finding the answer, after the opportunity had passed.  


I actually feel a sense of peace in finding a solution to the question.

     What will I do if I run into someone who doesn't like me

I will open the vastness of my quiet place, with a still mind and peaceful heart and the answer will step smartly forward, like a hot gal in a new pair of shoes.

1 comment:

Gabrielle said...

Laughed my head off. Seriously funny stuff sista!! You are a talent indeed.