Crocks:Crocks: Yo, hon! You wanna do some yard work?
Me: Ok, sure. Let's get something done.
Crocks: Listen, sweety, don't hide me in the closet. I'll be right here when you need me. Looks have nothing on comfort, hon.
Me: Awesome. I'll grab ya when I need ya.
Hiking Shoes:Boots: Heeeey, you are doing yardwork? You know you want me.
Me: I know. But, laces. That means effort.
Boots: I'll protect your tootsies from all the gunk out there. I'm good at it. I'm great for more than just hikes, you know.
Me: I know. And I love you. But laces.
Sandals: I knew you'd pick me; let's do this.
Me: Awesome. Your velcro is my favorite. Let's get that yard mowed.
Sandals: Whoo! That was fun, what now?
Me: A shower. My feet are grass stained. This is why I have boots...
Boots: I told you so!
Slippers:Me: My toes are warm and comfy!!
Slippers: Don't wear us outside in the snow! You have other shoes with which you can drive, walk to the garbage, get the mail, or pick up a child from school!
Me: But that would mean taking you off, and my toes are warm and comfy!
Slippers: You're really going to wear us to Ihop? In the rain? for the Girl Scout Pajama breakfast?
Me: Yes. And my toes are warm and comfy!
Slippers: We're not going to be beautiful for long, you know that.
Me: Yes. But my toes will be warm and comfy.
Dress Shoes:Dress Boots: Girl, you lookin' FINE. MMM HHMMMMM. Smexaaaay.
Pumps: Do wear the pearls; it is better to be overdressed than under. And please ignore the boots. They simply don't know better. Besides, have you seen their heel? Can't be trusted.
Exercise Shoes:White Nike: come on, come on, come ON! Let's go, let's go, let's GO GO GO!
Me: Yeah, but laces. I'd rather do aerobics barefoot.
White Nike: You love the support, you know it. Remember all those great workouts we've had together? Let's go, let's go, let's go!
Me: Nuh-uh. Laces. Maybe next time.
Gray Nike: It's Gym Time!
Me: I miss the gym. I loved the gym. I can't even look at you, now.
Gray Nike: Come on! I'm comfortable and supportive and fit in the gym machines perfectly.
Me: You're not comfortable anymore. You covered my feet in blisters. My entire feet were bruised and sore for nearly a week because of you.
Gray Nike: I wasn't designed for a suicide attempt, I was designed for running and exercise. Come on, you want to be healthy, right? That walk was a good start, let's go for a walk again.
Me: Shut up. You still smell like lake mud. I can't wear you. I can barely stand knowing you're still in my closet.
Gray Nike: I am what I am.
Me: I want to throw you away. I want you to never have existed. I want you to be clean and sparkly and smell like sweat and feet and gym.
Gray Nike: So take me to the gym.
Me: I can't get rid of you. You are as much a part of me as my feet are.
Gray Nike: I'm just a shoe.
Me: You were there. I almost made the walk barefoot, you know. That was part of my original plan. But there you were, part of my workout habit, so on you went. You kept my feet from being ripped apart by the asphalt, gravel, thorns and lake detritus. You absorbed the lake mud. You protected my feet.
Gray Nike: That is what I am designed for.
Me: How can I hate you and love you all at the same time?
Gray Nike I am just a shoe.
Me: You are a constant reminder.
Gray Nike: I am a tool.
Me: You are the worst of me. You are part of me that tried to end everything. Yet you are still here, still whole, and largely unaffected except for the traces of mud.
Gray Nike: I am complicated.
Me: You survived that night with me. You survived the cold, the wind, the dark, the conversations with God. You are as much a survivor as I am. Yet I can't ever wear you again.
Gray Nike: So donate me. I'm sure there's someone else who could benefit from my design and purpose.
Me: How can I get rid of you? I can't do that. You represent my strength of will - my complete and utter stubbornness to get to the lake in the first place. And then the determination to get home when God said no. You are a testament to the ability to fight for what I feel is right, even if what I feel is right is completely wrong. You are a testament to my commitment to do something, even when it's hard.
Gray Nike: Walking was hard that night.
Me: It still is.
Gray Nike: But you kept going.
Me: And so did you. Your soles aren't coming off. The spring in the cushion is still there. You are still a very viable and good shoe.
Gray Nike: So use me.
Me: I already did. I think you met and fulfilled the measure of your creation. I cannot even think of putting you on again. I will re-tread those steps, those miles, those thoughts. I can't do it. But I will keep you. Because while you make me sad, and embarrassed and I wish I could throw you away, I still need you as proof that I survived. That I'm not dreaming the rest of this life.
Gray Nike: An athlete and her shoes.
Me: A warrior and her weapons.
Gray Nike: Together we will survive.
Me: Maybe, but you're still living in the back of the closet until I can come to terms with this.