Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Case of the Blisters

I went up to campus today, to be all productive-like. I woke up, as I usually do, got dressed, which I sometimes do*, and packed up my school stuff--on a Saturday. Psch. But before going out into the cold--where a light coating of snow had turned to ice on everything--I did what I thought was the smart thing and put on a pair of shoes. Now, this pair of shoes was a slightly random choice. And, considering how this story ends, I think it was the devil tempting me, determined to keep me single and celibate. But we'll get to that later.

The point is, I grabbed a pair of shoes. A pair of shoes that, one, I never wear and, two, are kind of uncomfortable. But I wore them because, one, they were the closest in my reach and, two, I never wear them. Share the love, you know? Cuz shoes have feelings too.

Anyway. I put them on, march out, and I'm so focused on not slipping and falling on my face that I hardly notice the pinching at my heels and toes. Once I sat down in the computer lab, once I pulled out all my school stuff, and once I turned on some great music and tried to focus on writing a ten-page paper on femininity in American literature--that, that is when I started to feel the pinching. So i kicked my shoes in. Made myself at home like that.

Everything was fine. I worked for an hour or so, then got up to print something. Now, knowing that bare feet are gross to see in public paces, I put my shoes on. And then I really felt the fury that my feet had for me. I literally couldn't walk in them. These shoes I'd had on for the maybe-ten-minute walk up to campus, they had completely ravaged my feet. I have a blister on either heel, long and narrow and bubbly. On my big toes, little toes, and all across other areas of my feet, little blisters were forming. And once I forced those victimized feet back into the shoes that did that to them, they turned on me. They wouldn't work. I staggered, limped, hopped to the printer, all while trying to play it cool in front of the half-dozen people present. Seriously, though, when it came time to go back to my computer, I considered crawling. Weeping. Wailing. All of the above. Instead, I did this sort of tip-toe hop, like a game where the entire purpose was not to put any weight on either foot.

I lost.

And the smile I tried to throw at the cute boy nearby turned into what I'm sure can only be described as a terrified/terrifying grimace.

He didn't look at me every again.

So I took my shoes off, buied them deep behind the desk. I folded my feet under me, as if to comfort them and protect them, win them back--prove my deep-seated affection for them. I don't think they bought it, though; they were still resentful by the time four o'clock rolled around and I was done with all my school work.

I almost considered staying till closing, just so I wouldn't have to face my shoes or the trek back home. But...there was nothing for me there. I was a mere lost soul without working feet.

But I couldn't face those shoes again. So, ever-so-slyly, I packed them up with my other books and binders, hiding them in my backpack. I glanced around and, once it was clear I was not being watched, I put on my tiny, cutesy little can't-really-be-called-socks socks. And then I stood up. With another anxious glance, I quickly glided out of the room, around the backside of the building (to avoid being seen), and out the doors. There was suddenly this influx of people, I swear, all staring at my feet--pointing and laughing and jeering in not nice ways.

Just kidding. But I almost ran. I almost ran. It was that bad. whenever I passed people, I would just smile at them so they would look at me and not down...at my bare feet. And everything was fine; I'd practically gotten away with it. Then I came to the crosswalk.

I was coming round to it just as this guy--this really cute guy--came from the other side. He pressed the button, I pulled to a stop and just tried desperately not to be noticed. I stepped on my toes, tried to look inconspicuous, but when I looked up...he was looking down.

"What happened to your shoes?"

And all I could do was laugh. I stuttered and paused, blushed and shook my head. I tried to explain, breathlessly, that I had gotten really bad blisters so I just decided to walk home barefoot. He raised an eyebrow and, almost pointedly, glanced down at the snow covered grass. Then back at me. So I laughed again, wishing I could be witty, wishing this would be a great "when they met" story. But I just buried my head and said, "It's kind of embarrassing."

Not as embarrassing as your own ineptitude, Shelby. I mean, come on, he couldn't even hear what you'd said since you SAID IT INTO YOUR SCARF.

Right.

But then the light change. He sort of forced a smile, nodded, and said, "Alright, then. Well...good luck."

And that was that. I rushed home, laughing and shaking my head (so much so that I probably just looked even more psycho for being barefoot and suffering from tourette's). But, let's face it, even if I had shoes that probably wasn't even my soulmate. And I probably would have been just as awkward. And if he can't take a girl trudging barefoot in the snow, then...yeah.

Besides, I mean, in my defense, he was the one wearing shorts. Who does that?

*Just Kidding. I always do this. Nudity is not nice.