RIP, Clarks

I bought the boots in 2005. Part of my second or third paycheck from the corporate job that meant to Change Everything ((and did, making me realize that nothing would change)) I dropped a significant chunk of my income on two pairs of shoes. The second pair, I sadly don’t remember. But the first, a pair of 1.5 inch Clark’s ankle boots, I due. Their salutary effect on my higher-ups was near immediate.

In some ways, Showgirls was right. Women communicate in competitive environments via nails and shoes. And since I find manicures beyond basic nail sculpting ecologically abhorrent, I embodied the perfect cognitive dissonance for my position: bad nails. Great shoes.

A wobble in my heel caused me to bring the boots in to Fast Eddy’s, a cobbler in Dinktyown. Eddy himself mans the shop (presumably) and he immediately recognized that Clark’s had a manufacturing error. The shanks were weak and broke too easily. Even so, he rhapsodized at length about the quality of my boots, and even though they were sometimes the culprits behind my hiving feet, I was proud to wear them. I felt elevated – not just that inch and a half, but in some dynamic way I lifted myself a social class and style class. Even my breasts looked better when I wore those boots.

Yesterday as I dashed from bus to train for a social event, I noticed the telltale wobble in my right heel. I found reasons to sit down even though I meant to work the room at the social event I attended with my husband; I found ways to work schmoozing and sitting together, ever conscious of that wicked little wobble.

I brought them back to Eddy. He flipped the boots over and shook them. The left rattled. the right did not. “The shanks are broken,” he told me. “The right one isn’t even making that sound.”

He then shoved the boots to the side. “When my kids got their first dog, I explained to them that dogs only live about fourteen years, and sometimes only to eight,” he explained. “These boots have done their time.”

I left my trusty Clarks with him once grief counseling completed. He says he can reuse the leather. I just realized that I left the shoe inserts behind.