20 thoughts on “Reader Friday: My Left Shoe

  1. Philosophy for a Friday morning, Jim! Thanks! And have a great weekend!


    I stared the spider down. It waved its front legs at me in challenge — a feint usually preceding a retreat — but I did not give it the opportunity to exercise the better part of valor. It was soon pulped beneath me and then behind me. A prophylactic warning against a rear advance.

  2. What fun! Thanks, Jim. My meager submission is below, and thanks to Joe for the borrowed visual:

    [Voice-over by Jonathan Harris, who portrayed Dr. Smith on the original Lost in Space television series:]

    Alas, who knows the trials I endure! The bruises and piercings. The bruises and bumps that come in the night. The stench of former spider entrails.The water, the mud slugs, the sand that wears on my very sole!

    But worst of all is ihe time spent alone, and no way to move that dangling string. The tickle is maddening! I suffer all that, and only to be pressed into subservience again. Yet I will make my maker proud. I will shine!

  3. Left shoe. Ha! That’s apt, the one always left behind. Right, right, right, left, right. Right foot forward and all that. I mean, what am I over here? I’m the one that keeps you from falling on your face when that other shoe is off the ground, that’s what. Of course, I get my little victories. I don’t often have to kick anything. And guess what? I’m not wearing down as fast as that arrogant right shoe. My time is coming, because Mr. Always Right is going to get thrown away, and then we’ll talk about who’s left, right? No, wait, why am I getting thrown away, too?! Look at me! No holes, full sole.
    At least in the trash, I’m on top. I’m not as dirty, either, so take that! Sigh . . .

  4. My end is near.

    How can I be so sure, you ask? Well, my laces are in knots, my heal cock-eyed, and my owner Ted’s big toe just busted through my roof.

    Almost home now. My brother, Righty, and I have taken this walk with Ted and the drooling hair ball on legs he calls Doggy Boy every morning for who knows how long. Almost a lifetime I’d guess.

    “Oh, no!” We’re out back at the trash can, it’s lid in Ted’s left hand, Righty in the other. “Please don’t. We can still be of use for you when gardening.” Thud. Clank. Righty’s gone.

    Why Righty and not me? Now I’m being held high and being fake thrown and Doggy Boy is jumping this way and that, now crouched and ready to run. Before I know it I’m flying, Doggy Boy running under me. Then darkness, drowning in drool.

    Life goes on after all. Just different.

    Poor Righty.

  5. I heard stories about her kind, but I never imagined I’d end up sole deep in a blood pool. One would think she’d sidestep the mess like a smart killer. What is that metallic sickly sweetness? Yuck. My Nike swoosh will never be the same. When Ms. Genius gets arrested I’ll be bagged and tagged for the rest of my life–in purgatory through no fault of my own. Just my luck.

  6. I was scared when she took us out of the box. Righty and I had been all snuggled up in the dark for so long that I was afraid of the light. Righty said the world was full of all sorts of awful stuff like stones and dirt and thorns. He said we’d be worked like an old plow mule when somebody bought us. Our laces would frazzle and our soles would wear down until they threw us away.

    But when she lifted me out of the box, I heard her say, “My first pair of Asics.” She ran her hand gently down my side and then she tried us on. She bounced around the store and jogged on their treadmill. “Perfect,” she said. “I’ll wear them in the race tomorrow.”

    I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

  7. No expenses or white lies spared. I wrote this song, “One Shoe Blues,” a few minutes ago, and hired Sandra Boynton to produce it and the late BB King and some sock puppets to sing it. You are welcome.


    Yeah, I’m a lazy, retired writer liar, but it’s a fun song. Plus, sock puppets!

  8. The name? Lefty. Occupation? I’m the oxblood leather stepchild abandoned beneath the rump-spring sofa. Left to snare dust balls in my laces and provide shelter to creatures that scurry in the dark. Now I reside in a plastic bag labeled “Evidence.” Ya want the story? The real story? Well, for a can of polish and a soft rag, I’ll tell you what happened to Righty and the foot he covered before they both disappeared. Kinda makes me feel not so bad about always being the one left behind.

  9. Well, rats (and other scurrying creatures)! I left the spring in that sofa. Don’t believe that for a second, its bouncy support was sprung by many rumps.

    Ah, sure an’ it’s ‘imself’s last day at work. Fitty (sic) years an engineer, an’ noo ‘e’s ‘ung up ‘is sliderule (figgeratively speakin’), stacked ‘is folders on ‘is desk, an’ said ‘is farewells to the only ones who always ‘got’ ‘is jokes. Now we thump doon the stairs for the last time, right left right left right left, an’ we step ootdoors inta the free, free air. Wut’s this? ‘E’s takin’ us off! Well, I suppose ‘e’s entitled. But steel-toed and ‘eavy leathered, we’ve protected ‘im from danger these many years, an’ noo ‘e’s nae even wearin’ us ‘ome? Wut’s this drum? Och, nae! It’s a waste bin! An’ ‘e’s throwin’ us inside! BOOM! go I. BOOM! goes me brother. An’ noo ‘e’s tossin’ in ‘is stockin’s, to boot, if ye’ll pardon the pun. An’ noo, noo ‘e’s gone, barefoot an’ done with us foriver.

  11. Ha! Great exercise, JSB!

    This doesn’t feel right. What’s happened?

    I felt the foot slide in, toes wiggling until they were all the way at the front of me. But something is wrong, I tell you.

    I know I’m just a shoe, but I’m as smart as the next shoe—and way smarter than my partner over there. Yeah, look at him. Stupid smirk on his face like he doesn’t have a care in the world. Just wait, he’ll get his.

    Now I’m certain disaster is just around the bend. This foot inside me is stomping. Don’t feet care about their shoes? Hey! That hurt!

    I’m tellin’ ya, this has never happened to me before. I’ve always led a calm, righteous life, never giving the feet in my life cause for concern. But I must’ve missed something today . . . there’s gotta be a reason for this.

    Aha! I told you the jerk next to me would get his. There’s a strange foot trying to get inside him. Too small. Too fat. Too something.

    Now he’s glaring at me as if this is my fault.

    I’m tellin’ ya, I’ve never seen these feet before. Where are the regular feet? What’s going on-?

    Hey wait! There’s the regular feet—I’d recognize the hole in that sock anywhere.

    But what’s he saying? You know, the head way up there about six feet from the floor?

    “Steven, I need my shoes. You need to take them off now, Son.”

    “But, Daddy—”

    “Now, Steven.”

    Ahh . . . finally, that tiny chubby foot is gone, both of them bare-running out through the closet door.

    The holey sock slides in, no stomping, no toe wiggling. We walk the feet out the front door and head to the grassy place where there’s lots of other feet in shoes flying along the path.

    Life is back to normal.

  12. Thanks, Jim.
    With a tip of the hat to Sylvia Plath:
    What a beautiful pair they all said at first. But you were just stringing me along. I thought we were sole mates kicking around and that nothing could tear us apart. Now my heel is worn out and I’m coming unglued. Righty, Righty, you bastard, I’m through.

  13. Damn! Here I am again. Behind another concrete pillar in another stinking parking garage. SIG drawn, three determined perps near the stairwell just waiting for me to make a move. Shattered windshield glass between me and the elevator and my left shoe in an oil slick three yards back. Where the hell is my partner? If I get out of this, I’m demanding a raise.

  14. Tied to Mr. Right, I dangle from the power lines over Seminole Avenue, behind the Vortex Bar and Grill, another pair in the air, wondering why.

    (Better late than never, I s’pose…)

  15. Thanks for the inspiration JSB.

    I’m always the one who gets planted while Mister Right gets to kick heads, ribs, footballs, asses and doors. I just stand there and provide support. Who am I, a housewife or something? . He calls me Lefty and says he’s my best friend but it’s little consolation. One day, though, I’ll come into my own if he keeps screwing around with that chainsaw when he’s three sheets to the wind.

    Then you’ll see something that’ll make your head reel.

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