On Thursdays I try to up my game and get out of sweats and do my hair and makeup even though Igor my psychoanalyst doesn’t really look at me. He has a couch I can lie on if I want but I just cannot imagine doing that. There is something too about it. I don’t know what it is but I know that it is definitely too. Anyways, most of the time he has his eyes shut and is thinking so deeply that if Rodin saw him he would throw away that crap bronze he made and create “The Thinker II: This time he is really thinking”. But even though he barely sees me I just don’t want him thinking I am a schlumpadinka. Actually, oh this is where the shame comes, I would like him to think I am smart, funny, and I wouldn’t hate if he thought I was pretty and attractive. Gosh I hate admitting that. Again, I know not why.
So, I wore a black Vera Wang felt skirt and a black merino cardigan and the Prada pumps. I spent a little extra time on the hair and makeup which must have paid off because I had two guys on the freeway play the magnetic car flirt, wave and wink game. Why I am flattered by this tells you how many days a week I do not do full hair and makeup. I was feeling pretty, confident and ready to go in and kick some complexes in the booty. I drove up Camden only to discover there was a horrible accident at the intersection in front of Igor’s. An older woman was hit by a taxi. It was serious. She was taken away in an ambulance but she was conscious and clutching her Chanel bag.
This accident put a crimp in my parking and I had to park four blocks away. As I left the car I said to myself, “Self, why don’t you put the ballet flats in your purse just in case.” Self answered feeling cocky and pretty and Prada proud,”nah, I don’t need them. I am fine. I can walk four blocks in four inch heels.”
Block one: I was feeling good. I felt sure everyone who walked by me saw my shoes and were in full blown envy.
Block two: I am looking for pain. I feel none.
Block three: I started to notice that my left foot seemed to be turning out and even as I forced it back it just kept jetting out. Still pain free. I got a wink from a UPS guy and felt even more Prada pretty. I waited for the light to turn green at the intersection were the lady was hit. I walked across the street and I noticed a skinny bitch who seems to be giving the once over in the non-girl power way. I started to think “what are you staring at with that sneer, bi_ _ _?” and that is when it happened. I had lost my balance. I was like a surfer on a wave and I had two choices, I could wipe out or I could find my center and paddle and conquer this wave. I felt the tide rage under me. I made a desperate series of autonomic micro-adjustments that seemed to be keeping me upright. Once it was clear that I was not going down and that I would not be the second person at this intersection to go down in one day, I started to shake the way you do when you have just avoided being fashion road kill.
I sat in Igor’s waiting room and tried to get the adrenaline to leave my body by planning on how I would get back to the car without a hip fracture. I imagined calling He-weasel and having him leave work and drive over an hour so he could go to my car and get my flats and then drive back to work again. No, bad idea. I thought about taking a cab or about going barefoot. Before I could decide what to do Igor came out and invited me into his office. What did we talk about? Well, Wednesdays post did come up as did the event that proceeded it. We talked about my mother, my father and love and hate, Chicago and L.A., and the hole that exists in me that the f’n baby was supposed to fill. We, however, did not talk about my near death experience. I felt sure if we did the question about why I was wearing the shoes to see him would come up and I just couldn’t take that.
As soon as it was time to leave. I got up praying I would not fall on my ass in Igor’s office I imagined the whole scene and how my skirt would certainly go up over my head and I would reveal too much and the shame would overtake me and I would die. Igor would have to call He-weasel and tell him I was dead and Igor wouldn’t be able to see his 1:00 as he would be too distraught with grief and there was the matter of what to do with my body. So, I stood praying to a God that only exists in fox holes. My prayer was: “Dear God do not let me f’n fall.” My prayer was answered.
I made it out of the building and then I had to cross the fricking intersection again and I took each step more slowly and more deliberately than I have ever taken steps before. I had the kind of walking focus that one usually has in a labyrinth. My prayer continued, “Dear God do not let me f’n fall.” It felt like time stopped and that it took about an hour to get across the street. I walked into David’s shoes and I decided I would do one of two things. I would either call a cab to pick me up and take me three blocks to my car or I would buy a pair of shoes .
I was looking for flats. The only flats I could find were Tory Burch or athletic shoes. I kept looking. There had to be a shoe I could find that I could use again and not just for this fashion emergency. My confidence was broken, if not my neck, I held onto furniture for support as I looked on.
I found shoe # 3 in the great shoe rebuilding project. These lovelies are the Cybill by Kate Spade and they are a sweet and tame kitten heels that as soon as I got them on my fear of falling fell away. I told the sales girl I would be wearing them and why. It was then that she said what I wished she had not, “yeah, I saw you walking across the street and I thought to myself “good luck.” My shame was full. My Prada pretty had now been replaced by Spade salvation and a fair amount of shame. I walked to the car feeling less fierce and much more stable.
The girl at the shoe store was right, “save those shoes for sitting.”