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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 7, Number 3, September 2013


Carol Judkins
Carlsbad, California, U.S.A.

Letting Go

It’s time to sort my shoes. My husband walks by with a big smile; I smile back. “Good luck,” he says. It’s a wonder he doesn’t do a Snoopy dance; he’s been suggesting this task for a while. My goal: three piles—throw away, give away and keep.

Three pairs of loafers, a pair of tennis shoes and a pair of Sketchers start the keep pile. Black sandals with three rows of tiny rhinestones forming a refined V that land between my toes make the cut for holiday parties. Grey patent flats with a bow, brown dress sandals with faux buckles that perfectly cover the bunions, and flip flops—two black pair, a yellow set, and brown ones with sequin straps join the keep heap. Smart, logical choices. I congratulate myself on my progress.

Throw-aways consist mostly of summer stock. I can wear flip-flops and sandals from May to October, but if I lined up all that I have, I could never wear a pair twice in that time. Some have no mate that I can locate.

The thick wedge shoes that make my legs look like Popsicle sticks stuck in a square of concrete and my orange Mario Batali crocs are going to Goodwill. All the shoes with high skinny heels go into the give-away bag. I used to wear those all the time until I broke through denial about the health hazards.

I sit for a few minutes with my tango dance shoes—peacock blue suede with gold leather T-straps—bought for our trip to Buenos Aires. We never quite got those Argentine steps down, but it was fun to try. My husband walks by again, sees the tango shoes on my lap. “You’re keeping that pair, right?” He adds a wink as he touches my shoulder.

Ta na na na na. I’m ready to dance on starlight.

a burst of chrysanthemums
in the finale

Author’s Note: The last line of the prose is a nod to Paul Simon’s song, “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes,” on the Graceland album.



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