Waiting for the Other Shoe


There was a shoe again this morning on the sidewalk on the east side of Congress Avenue.  It was just past the landscaping border in front of the Statesman Apartments.  You know the one, there just before the grilled cheese truck and the juice cart.

The shoe was gray canvas this time with white rubber around the sole.  It was a lefty and on its side facing the street.  I’m not sure what that means but the laces were untied and loose unlike the shoe I found just before John’s accident.

John was struck on a Tuesday.  All the items in his cart were scattered along the storm gutter. His paperback novels with torn covers and dog-eared pages identified him to me.  It was a blue Nike with a white swoosh that I’d seen that morning over near the ice cream shop.

There was a brown sandal with a broken heel strap the month before John’s accident, in the mulch in front of the San Jose Hotel. The day after I saw it, I read in the newspaper about the homeless women named Rose.   She just stepped from the curb into rushing traffic nowhere near the cross-walk, so they say.

I wonder if they’ve done it yet.  You know the ones who wait for the shoe to appear and give them a signal.  Could I move the gray shoe and change someone’s fate?  What if the shoe is meant for me?

It was all a dream

It figures.  The night I hit the sheets so totally exhausted that I sleep like a log and can’t remember a single dream, Fred wants to talk about the creative inspiration of dreaming. 

It’s all about symbolism.  When we sleep, our brains try to solve our emotional issues using flashes of imagery.  These images often inspire visual artists to produce pieces containing similarly condensed symbolism. Writers too can use these images to add symbolism to our writing.

I’ve had some crazy dreams and I actually wrote a piece of flash fiction in high school about one.  Back then it wasn’t called flash fiction.  I think we just called it a really short story.  My mom found a draft of  The Wall shortly before my 40th birthday and included it in my birthday card.  I thought about posting it here straight from my 15-year-old brain (circa about 1982), but decided not to subject you to such terrible writing.  However, the story actually has merit.  It’s a tale of a person experiencing a recurring dream she just can’t seem to shake during the light of day and how that dream evolves into a surprising turn of events.  It’s full of bad descriptions and lots of telling instead of showing but there’s a story there.  It’s just another project to add to my list of stories to revisit.