— this is really happening

Goonie Medal of Honor

The flip-flop has been upgraded. The pair I recently purchased at a department store boasts supreme and squishy arch support, tough tread for scaling walls, and wide cotton straps for next to no chafing. At first I thought the extra comfort would be a devastating loss. As a kid I really valued the flip-flop break-in period at the beginning of the summer. The sores between my toes from the rubber thong and the ache of my whole foot while I wore down the recycled-tire base, were like medals of kid accomplishment and independence that I could show my friends. It told everyone I was a true adventurer, that I belonged with "Gordie Lachance" and the "Goonies," and that I wasn’t afraid to get dirty.

But surprisingly no, this new aeon of shoe advancement is well timed. In the warm months I wear flip-flops notoriously too often. To the opera, to the ball, to bed. Their significance no longer synonymous with independence, these new flip-flops are just easy to take on and off, and they shield me from the crumbs and cat bits that infiltrate my hardwood floors. I will enjoy the open-air-on-feet fortuity while I can, I figure. Toes tanning, I’m revelling in this poem:

My Shoes

Shoes, secret face of my inner life:
Two gaping toothless mouths,
Two partly decomposed animal skins
Smelling of mice-nests.

My brother and sister who died at birth
Continuing their existence in you,
Guiding my life
Toward their incomprehensible innocence.

What use are books to me
When in you it is possible to read
The Gospel of my life on earth
And still beyond, of things to come?

I want to proclaim the religion
I have devised for your perfect humility
And the strange church I am building
With you as the altar.

Ascetic and maternal, you endure:
Kin to oxen, to Saints, to condemned men,
With your mute patience, forming
The only true likeness of myself.

Charles Simic

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