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2002-11-21 - 3:21 p.m.

I blink and the entire evening is gone. Spent doing chores, cleaning the kitchen and getting the laundry done. I had dinner with my Grandparents. The small inanities the make up a normal life. I lost a good friend today. Friends really.

I was late leaving work as usual, and decided, ill advisedly, to run for it when I saw my train approaching. I broke into my jog, thinking that I might just make it. As I weaved through the traffic hoping to catch the train, my foot slipped on the tracks imbedded in the pavement. On moment I was confidently rushing towards my ride home, the next I have the cement rushing up to give me a little kiss. So, I slipped. Or went down like hooker in an alley. I heard a cheerful ding as the train pulled a way, the small toot of the horn mocking me on the ground. The lights also changed and traffic began moving. I stared at a crack in the ground, not wanting to acknowledge what had just happened. After what could really only be seconds but seemed like an eternity I tried to get up. My left arm was smarting a bit. The freshly healed knuckles on my hand were now bloody again, along with my palm. My right pants leg was ripped open as well, revealing a scraped calf and some hamburger looking knee wound. My inner anklebone was also bleeding, the dress sock providing even less protection than microfiber pants. But all of that paled in comparison to what had been done to my shoe. I couldnít look at it; I didnít want to look at it. A cursorily glance showed some deformation and scratching. I managed to get myself off the ground and I limped up the ramp to the station where I collapsed onto a bench. There was no crisp strike of authority as my right shoe hit the pavement, no clickety clack rhythm of leather slapping asphalt. I sat there on the bench, taking inventory. The pants, whatever. I am pretty sure I bought them on sale. Standard black pants, easily replaced. The sock, well, Iíd throw them both in the hamper and then put them in the rag bucket or something. These were just socks. The Birkenstocks. Tragedy. When your feelings gone and you canít move on itís a Tragedy. What? Birkenstocks? Well, I know this is California Jake, but you? It just brings to mind tacky tie-dye and granola. I always imagine that record scratch and all conversation grinding to a halt whenever I outted the maker of these shoes. They are incredible pieces of footwear; simple to look at and comfortable as hell. Your basic black oxford yet so exquisitely crafted and comfortable one would swear they had been custom crafted by elves. Perhaps they were. Iíve never received a blister from these shoes, they came in wide, and managed to take the heinous shape of my foot and mold it into something resembling normality. Yes, they cost the same as supporting one of those damn Mexican orphans for life, and I didnít get a letter written by the marketing department plus a picture to hang on my fridge, but really, pennies a day is such a small price to pay for quality footwear. The sole had separated from the upper leather, leaving a gaping hole from which my foot was taking full advantage of. A couple deep gashes etched worry lines towards the heel. But what made all of this unrepairable was that the sidewalk had turned much of the shoeís instep along with a large amount of the toe, changing it from a glossy fine Corinthian to a dull scuffed suede. No amount of polish would be fixing this fallen foot soldier. Surprisingly the left side was relatively undamaged, a few shineable scratches in the toe. But they are like conjoined twins, shoes. Forever tied together by the cruel twist of nature that left us bipeds. I have no idea what Iím going to do with them. Or without them.

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Zen and don't cry out loud - 2007-07-29

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