Monday, 20 February 2017

Footwear log, You're Nicked edition (2nd ed)

Today's shoes - combined with the black tights which are the only good thing to come of the current cold snap - make me think of this:

I have noticed that in my job there is a segment of the cohort who places a very high value upon, and in consequence is relatively easily won over by, a pair of martially well-polished shoes. So I keep my shoes clean and the shiny ones, like these, I polish every time I wear them. I was fascinated and grossed out to read in Barry Heard's deeply moving memoir Well Done, Those Men that the phrase 'spit and polish' literally means polishing boots by rubbing blacking on them and mixing it with spit. Being a Sagittarian seeker of new experiences I thought I'd give it a go, and went so far as to acquire a tin of parade gloss boot polish through an ex-army bloke I know.  But when it came to the crunch I just couldn't bring myself to gob all over my shoes and rub it in. Disgusting but also too much trouble. So the gloss you see here is the dishonest gloss of a wax-based instant shine liquid coating, yes, very bad for the leather, but so super shiny!

This is just the second pair of Docs I've had in my life - the others, a pair of sixteen-holers I had when I was about seventeen, damaged my feet so dreadfully in the nightmare ordeal of breaking them in that I was put off until last year when I thought I'd give them another go....oddly enough, at about the same time as I began to carry on like a teenager in a number of other interesting ways. In related matters, my session with my doctor today was strenuous, puzzling and difficult and altogether had a flavour of not quite right (squints).

Now with bonus afterthoughts. One word the doctor used which did resonate (as opposed to the string of words which made me go hmmm) is 'vulnerable'. As in, you are extending the vulnerability you experience here in the sessions to other spaces in your life. And when I remembered this I thought about how my feet had felt inside that first big black shiny pair of Docs. Raw, sore, bleeding and bruised. In the place where the leather creased at the back of each heel, I grew a callus which is still there. And a few minutes after taking that photo of the current pair, I went back into my office to find all my workmates giggling at an email that had just gone out to all female staff about someone using a locker which apparently should have been reserved for female police officers. There was a photo of the contents of the locker, which was of course mine, in the email. I felt really sick and didn't recover my cool till the afternoon.

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