After a morning of successfully combating Fourier transforms before my brain went into a giant slide, I decided to get myself out of frequency space. I initially planned to go to my beloved Art Gallery, but decided at the last minute, on a whim, to go to the shops instead. 2pm on a Friday is generally a quiet time for the regular suburban shopping centre, people are still at work, or getting ready to pick up kids so I could meander. And the last thing I wanted to do today was interact. With anyone.
Plus, if I was honest, a friend bought these shoes a week ago and the idea of fabulous glitter shoes was enough. Because if glittery shoes couldn't pull me out of this funk, then what would?
Usually, these days, when I go out, I put some effort into my appearance. Yesterday, I was at a crowded public place and was wearing a short black mod dress with tights, perfect make up and hair. And of course, I saw absolutely no one I knew all day. This is how these things work.
Today, I literally rolled out of bed and into the last clean clothes in the bottom of my drawers. My skin is terrible. My hair worse and I don't think I brushed it. I probably smell. I've put on nearly 5kg this year and look and feel doughy. I didn't really care though, because the object of the afternoon's mission was shoes and the beauty of shoes is that they do not judge you at all.
I wandered through various shops in our local centre before finding the exact same glitter pair as above. Smiling broadly to myself I sat on the edge of the polyurethane seats and buckled them around my ankles. One silver. One red. And they were just as ridiculous and just as pretty as I'd hoped. I did the usual embarrassing thing and took photos of them in the mirror to share with my Fellow Shoe Fetishist to rule over the silver or red debate. My brain was deliciously empty, no physics, no anatomy, no ghosts of Christmas past...
You already know where this is going, but I was standing there, in my wrinkly skirt and old top and a pair of ridiculous glittery red and silver shoes when I made eye contact and realised it was someone I knew. Someone that I didn't particularly want to see ever, but especially not looking lank and diseased. And I blushed and realised that I was shaking slightly, something the glittery shoes emphasised all too well. But I composed myself, just, and bought my shoes, walking out holding them wondering how it is that this always happens.
I should really have gone home then, as that is the only way to avoid such a situation repeating itself, but I did not and got to repeat the experience twice before heading to Woolworths to grab something for dinner. Somewhere between the cereal and the soft drink aisle I had developed a sense of humour about it all and was even composing something in my head, smiling to myself and singing to the margarine in the dairy aisle. Completely oblivious to my surroundings as I headed back for the car.
Where I was stopped by the person who of all people I wanted to see least in the entire world, especially when looking a complete mess. And my brain stopped working. All the blood went to my feet. I swayed just a second and for the first time really believed that people actually can faint purely through shock. I think I said some words, I don't really remember, what I do remember was the sense of both panic and intense nausea such that I was sure I was going to vomit on his shoes.
I didn't, for which I am thankful, and made it to my car after standing blankly at the door having forgotten where I had parked. Whereupon I sat down in the seat and tried to neither burst into tears nor vomit in the gutter and waited until my hands had stopped shaking enough for me to put keys in the ignition. Eventually pulling into traffic to pick up the girls.
And it was collecting my bags from the car, still thoroughly shaken, that I realised that the name of my shoes; the stupid shoes that had me at a shopping centre instead of the art gallery on what was supposed to be a quiet afternoon.
I had to laugh.