There is one – and only one – redeeming advantage to bad posture:
You see things lying on the ground people with admirable posture are not even aware are down there.
Habitually stoop over, and you see everything. (Except, perhaps, where you are going.)
Anyway, that’s how I noticed the shoe.
I apologize for no accompanying picture of it to append to this story. (Like people go around all the time, carrying their cellphones. Sure, forewarned someone will call me, I take my cellphone along with me. Otherwise, it stays home “charging”, where it belongs. I mean, do you carry around a steam iron, in case your clothes unexpectedly “wrinkle”? That’s ridiculous! (Though less ridiculous than justifying not carrying your cellphone.)
I am left with only a “recorded memory” of the shoe I saw lying next to the sidewalk as I headed for Groundwork one “Thursday Walk” morning for coffee. (Where, though no longer treated like a king, I am charged differently depending on whether Alice prepares my Venice Blend “pour-over” ($3.25) or Megan, charging me $4.25 for the same service, though both are equally friendly.
(Relevant Side-Note: Though trying to reduce my intake of coffee, I continue my weekly pilgrimages to Groundwork, so I won’t let down Alice and Megan. The increased caffeine-induced trips to the bathroom are a small price to pay for a bonding connection with strangers.)
Anyway, back to the shoe.
A man’s “Left” lace-up, business-like “Dress Shoe.” Brown – lighter than “Dark brown”, though nowhere near “Tan.” Its size? Bigger than myshoe size, less than Lebron’s, a “10”, maybe an “11” – what am I, a professional shoe salesman? Wider than “narrow”, although, again, I am no recognized expert in the “pedal-covering” arena.
None of which is ultimately the salient point.
You see a single shoe, sitting abandoned by the sidewalk and your instinctive reaction – if you are at all concerned with abandoned footwear – is
“What the heck is it doing there?”
Was it left there on purpose? (Rather than someone accidentally stepped out of it and kept going?)
And, if so, why?
IRATE SHOE WEARER: “I warned you. You ‘pinch’ me one more time and that’s it!”
And, being no “Idle Threatener”,
True to their word, they doffed the constricting “Lefty” and off they went, planning to eventually return after “teaching it a lesson” and later forgetting to do so.
Leaving a penalized shoe, languishing on Rose Avenue.
This is hardly an unlikely scenario. Maybe “hardly” is “too strong”; let’s say “Not impossible.” Not talking “freakish disparity”, but my left foot is detectably larger than my right. So, in fact, one shoe could fit more comfortably than the other.
But “leave it behind and hop home because of the difference”? What person would do that? Though suffering “unequal tightness”, stepping out of the snugger shoe and limping unevenly down the street – that, friends, is a behavioral “stretch.” (Which, coincidentally, I have the shoemaker do with my “Left” shoes.)
So, the remaining unanswered question:
Was there some nearby shoe store promoting, “Buy Two, Get One Free”, the purchaser first relishing the bargain, then rethinking, “Why do I need three shoes?”, dropping the acquired “Extra” casually by the roadside?
Maybe, though I know it’s a “long-shot” – as if the first option wasn’t – someone, for whatever reason, left behind both shoes. Then, somebody else, whose “Right” one was pinching, took away only the shoe that they needed, leaving the remaining “Left” one to fearfully fend for itself.
Or, sadly – so I am leaving it for last – someone – the original owner or some subsequent shoeless “passer-by” – lost their left leg and now needed “Just one.”
Sorry. I was trying to deplete all the possible explanations, of which there are probably more. I just bummed myself out, imagining that last one.
As I am not blessed with an incisive “Practical Mind”, I am personally unable to explain why I saw one shoe taking a walk – not the shoe, me– I am a comedy writer; I can’t help myself – and…
Wait! That just reminded me of something.
What ifthe single "Left" shoe, craving morning excitement, asked its fraternal "Right" shoe if it wanted to go for a walk, the "Right" shoe replied, “You go”, the "Left" shoes said, “Fine” and it did, but, being inanimate “leather with laces”, it forgot where it lived and could not remember its way home?
I know that’s a “reach.”
But can you think of anything better?