I did what I always do this morning. I read the words to R and C who said, “renovation” and “living in Tuscany” respectively. In the end it turned into an ode to a shoe cupboard … naturally.
(Jeannine, the Manolos pinch!)
paint, use, sprees, outsider, away, fearsome,
part, reserves, body, intimate, written, window
There is a shoe cupboard built into the back wall of the bedroom closet of my 100 year old house.
I use it to store some of my silliest shoes; the results of overly-emotional PMS shopping sprees. I hide them away from the sensible part of my life.
My best friend came to visit a year ago and when he saw it he said, “When you renovate, this will be the first thing to go”.
But I think the cupboard will stay right where it is for as long as I live here because, while it’s a bit plain on the outside, the inside wall is covered with shimmering white and gold vintage wallpaper, a brilliant backdrop for my intimate fancies, a domestic geode bearing the glitter and sparkle of darling shoes.
The wallpaper is covering layers of paint; the last one is chartreuse, shining from around the edges like little moons.
I imagine the ladies who once filled this house, who filled the shoe cupboard with their shoes and their happy and fearsome days. The shoes are gone but nothing has really changed.
In this cupboard is all past strife and confusion, mistakes that we are, passed down from one before to the one who comes after.
Together we stand in our shoes. Bruised and beautiful in the filtered light from the closet window.
I can see you now twirling in your shoes on the wooden closet floor, your body looking perfect in each imperfection.
We fray the fabric of our lives; we count down the hours, dressing and breathing in the light of our mornings.
You can choose to see, you can choose not to see, but if you choose to see you must look deeper, harder, to sometimes strain, because the shoe cupboard reserves the answers you are looking for.
I sit cross-legged on the closet floor, my computer humming quietly beside me, the story waiting to be written, a cup of tea in one hand; I close the shoe cupboard with the other.