••• Saturday, November 25, 2006

U is For 

Uno Zapato
Or One Shoe.

Two summers ago at the neighborhood playground, there was a shoe.

One shoe. Actually, it was a flip flop.::The "flip" of the pair, if I recall...::

That summer we went to the park almost every day that we were home, weather permitting. And every day there was The Flip. Every day in a different location; by the climbing ropey thingy, then the rings, then the swings, then the slide. One day I couldn't find it anywhere and thought someone had finally tossed it, or took it home. But then I saw it down the hill from the playground, near the soccer field. The next day, it was back in the play area.

Every day that I went to the playground, I remembered that I forgot that I was going to bring the camera,to take a picture.

But I never did. Remember.

But I did do a lot of wondering about that one Flip and how it came to be left behind on a playground. It looked like it may have belonged to a 3rd or 4th grader (or a Cakers' size kindergartener, the girl has some dogs on her).

How do you lose just one shoe? You think a person would notice a thing like that. One missing shoe. Did the kid walk all the way home with one Flip? Or did he just flop to the car with a pack of sibs, where his podiatriactical imbalance went unnoticed in an ensuing back-seat, sibling-induced fray?

The Flip did disappear by the end of the summer. Likely a victim of a cleanup in preparation for the start of school. But that summer, a weird thing happened. I saw One Shoes everywhere. Along my walk route up at the lake, in parking lots, along curbs of city streets, on sidewalks...Just One Shoe. Uno Zapato.

And always I wondered the same things whenever I saw one:
How did it get there?

Was it flung out a car window by an angry girlfriend?

Did it fall from an airplane?

Where's its mate?

Why do people never lose their shoes in pairs?

Didn't the person know they were missing a shoe?

How did the person not know they were missing a shoe?

Was it an amputee who suddenly just figured it out?

Was it The Rapture and I missed it?

Was it The Rapture and they were taking amputees first, kind of like going to front of the line at Disney or handicapped parking?

Was it the Rapture and they were taking amputees first AND I missed it?

Is this it?

Am I in Hell?

Is Hell being stuck on Earth for all eternity, wondering about One Shoes and never having a camera so one can at least chronicle being in hell with One Shoes on one's blog?

Is there a Weblog ring for bloggers in hell?

What did they have for lunch?

Last March I was on a walk and saw the above featured shoe sitting in the front yard of a home. The day before there had been several inches of snow on the ground, which had melted just that day, in a sunnied frenzy. When I first saw it, I went right up to the shoe to look at it. I think I was seeking some answers to the questions that I knew would soon cause me great torment.

From what I could determine, it was a fresh drop. No way had that shoe spent any time under snow. Not yesterday, not ever. And it was a toddler's size. What the hell and...

Oh No, here we go again....
How did it get there?

Where is its mate?

Why don't people lose their shoes in matched pairs?

Was there a one shoed toddler running amuck in the muck?

How can he not notice?

Was it the pink laces?

Was he wearing socks?

Had he been abducted?

Was this evidence of a heinous crime?

What kind of mother doesn't notice her child is running around outside in March without a shoe?...
Right then and there I decided I was going to tame this one legged monster and officially decreed the upcoming summer to be the Summer of the One Shoe, wherein I would chronicle my adventures with the anticipated, multiple One Shoe sightings through photographs and related recorded musings.

After my walk, I grabbed my camera, hopped in the car and returned to the scene and took that picture to start what I believed was going to be a footful summer adventure.

Long story a little shorter, that is The Shoe. The Only Shoe. I never once saw another One She, for the remainder of that spring and summer.

That's right, not a one One Shoe.

In fact, not long after I took the picture of the One Shoe, I was walking around the lake near my home and came across ::gasp:: a pair of slippers. All neat and tidy, lined up side by side on the walk path. White terry cloth. Two.

I know. Where did the slippers come from?
How did they get there?

How does someone lose an entire pair of slippers?

Did they fall from an airplane?

Do they belong to an escapee from a nearby retirement community?

And is she now lost in the woods?

Did she actually get away?

Or was she abducted?

By Slipper-Hatin' Aliens?

Was it The Rapture?

They've now plucked up the two-leggers, and I still missed it?

Am I now in Hell on Two Shoes?

Should I get a tankini wax, just in case?
I don't know if seeing the pair of slippers jinxed me in my grand One Shoe plan or what, but that little sneaker up there is The Chronicles of the One Shoe. Yup.

Uno Zapato.

P.S. My other choice for U was Uno Commento, however, based on a recently alarming trend, I think I'll need to save that option for Z.

P.S.S. Since it's been kind of slow here in my stretch of the superhighway, I've been rewriting this post as the Shoe so moves me. Because I can.

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I always wondered about the solos too. I remember, as a child, wondering if that person got a spanking for losing a shoe.
Toddlers kick them off during long, long bike rides to punish their mothers for strapping them into a bike seat.

Adult sized shoes fall out of gym bags.

But why, oh why do people insist on throwing pairs of perfectly good shoes (tied together by their laces) up onto the telephone wires? Whose are they? Are they snatched from the owners' hands by nasty classmates and thrown up high to put the shoes out of reach but visible, to endlessly torment the owner for years and years to come?
My little brother used to throw them out of the car window. Well, shove them out of the minivan window. He was talented that way. :D
I've posted about this myself several times on my blog, even ran a contest with no entries. The lone shoe has always boggled me too.

Enjoyed your post on it, very well written.
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