Ahhh, yes. The shoe is named 'Myla' and comes from those magnificent Dansko people. And yes, I need them. Keep in mind that I'm not a stereotypical Woman Who Loves Shoes- that's my mom. Mom's nuts over shoes and has endless pairs of shoes filed in her closet, mostly in their original boxes. She sees shoes she loves and has to have all the time, whereas I rarely trip over a pair that makes my brain light up. But it might have something to do with the fact that she wears an 8 or 8 1/2 and can find shoes that feel fine easily. I wear an 11, and Size 11 shoes aren't nearly as plentiful as Size 8. My feet are also kinda wide and I also don't have much of an arch, so finding shoes that are actually comfortable that I can walk around in for a while without muttering and swearing under my breath in secret pain is a little unusual. That's why I go for big clunky shoes like our pal 'Myla'. They're usually comfy and there's no teetering around on little wineglass heels, no sprained ankles, no pinching anywhere. And let me tell you, when it comes to big clunky shoes that are comfortable, it's Dansko all the way. I've never tried on an uncomfortable pair yet. And look! Aren't they cute??! Sigghhhh....
I also need more pairs of high top Converse Chuck Taylors in as many colors as you can throw at me. Right now I only have pink. I need orange! And black! And bright green! I love those shoes, even though you need to put an extra insole in there if you want to wear them all day, since it's only a little slab of rubber under your sole with some canvas tied around your foot and ankle. And yet, they're still $30 wherever you go! Which I don't get. How guys used to play entire basketball games over and over, running around in these shoes without falling over and whimpering in pain is beyond me.
It's Thursday and a somewhat difficult week is drawing to a close, which is good. At least I'm not working this weekend; if I was, I'd be fucked. Why are things so sucky, you might ask? For one thing, I am so broke right now it's preposterous. There are other things that have been going wrong, of course, but I'm not going to bore you with a harangue about all that. Just battling pink robots and shit. What I'm interested in right now is this odd vein of escapism that hits me at inopportune moments when I have unpleasant juju going on.
For example: this morning I was driving to work on a busy highway, listening to music and just sort of working my way through traffic in that semi-zone-out mode I get in when I'm on a longer drive. It was sort of a cloudy morning, but the clouds cleared a little at one point and I glanced upward at a patch of sky. Right in the middle of this little window in the clouds was a tiny dot of an airplane way, way up there, barely moving to my eye, with a straight edge vapor trail behind it. Instantly I was overwhelmed with the urge to get off the highway, get out of the car, sit down on the grass, and just look up and watch the plane inch along for a couple of hours. It reminded me of always seeing those tiny little faraway planes while I was hanging around in the backyard when I was a kid, just sitting around in the grass with that almost-bored feeling hanging in the air. They always reminded me of the little silver dot you draw with on an Etch-A-Sketch- just a little moving pinpoint that leaves a long straight line behind it on a flat expanse of space. Sometimes there would be several jets overhead, all going in different directions and leaving thin little cloudy lines that gradually faded away. And it was a peaceful and dreamy feeling to lie in the yard and let your thoughts drift and play in your head while keeping track of the planes' careful progress, watching little lines being silently drawn. So it was difficult to leave that daydream and concentrate on things like driving a car. But I did fine.
I had a somewhat similar moment a few years ago while I was driving to work on the 120 loop, which goes through this little miniature rural area where there used to be a farm, which is still sort of there (after a fashion), but it's surrounded by suburbia. This particular day, I came to a stop at a traffic light in this little area, looked over, and watched the wind in the trees for a moment. I was completely mesmerized for some reason and I was so frustrated at having to take my foot off the brake and leave the trees behind. I hated it. And I kept replaying the sight in my head all day. This was in late spring, too, so the trees were covered in leaves and the air wasn't full of that muggy summer haziness- everything was clear. I wanted so badly to pull over, sit on the little hillside, and watch the branches wave back and forth until I was damn good and ready to do something else.
For the sake of accuracy, I should mention that the real term for "vapor trails" is "contrails", but I don't care- it sounds dull. I'm saying "vapor trails" instead. I'd rather not pass up the chance to say "vapor", which is a neat word.
Jeff and I knew there would eventually be trouble when we gritted our teeth and bought a house after having lived in a loft apartment for 8 years, throwing what little money we had away on rent. Something big would eventually break or burst or fall off or something. And both of us also know that we are completely inept as far as home repair is concerned. But after we moved in, I felt pretty good because Jeff had seemed so capable and knowledgable going around competently drilling holes in the 1951 plaster walls to hang our pictures and shelves and hooking up the washer and dryer and stuff like that. He even installed the cute little IKEA cartoon fish light fixture in the tiny 'hallway' himself. Sure, he said he didn't know how to hang a ceiling fan in our bedroom (it's sitting in the attic), but compared to my complete and total lack of mechanical confidence or knowledge, he looked brilliant. Me, I'm so hopeless I feel smug after having replaced a lightbulb or put eight strands of lights on the Christmas tree. Besides, I was proud of the job I'd done picking out paint colors and painted the walls in the house mostly by myself, a backbreaking but satisfying job.
So when the water company put a note on our door on the first week of August saying that we may have a plumbing leak because we were using a heck of a lot more water than usual, we looked at it, and went, "Huh." And went out of town for a week. We came back and got immediately distracted by a bunch of stuff, but when I noticed that the wood floor in that little teeny hallway was bulging in a couple spots, I pointed it out saying "Uh, oh. We should do something or call somebody or something." "Oh, yeah," said Jeff, and that's as far as it went. Then Jeff started pointing out some vertical and diagonal cracks that were appearing over doorways. "Wow.. uh, oh, it's 4:45, I need to get going." So on and so forth.
Then we had a big storm a couple weeks ago and I came home from a miserable drive home from work to see that a big piece of gutter over the front steps blew partially down and the drainpipe was knocked loose as well. They were both hanging by a nail or whatever it is that holds those things up. I swore when I saw it, knowing that Jeff was going to be home for a grand total of about 45 minutes over the next two weeks because of a freaked out Faulkner puppet show he was doing the sets for and performing in, and I knew that I sure as hell would not be able to do anything about it. So the piece of gutter and the drainpipe are still dangling out there right now.
Then I noticed that the bulging in the wood floor was getting worse in that one spot. The disquieting achy stomach feeling of worry over the house's mysterious problem I had been feeling (the house is going to fall down, isn't it? whatever's wrong is going to cost us $12,000 that we don't have, right? workmen are going to come over here and murmur at each other about our stupidity any day now) suddenly intensified into a torrent of anxiety and helplessness yesterday. Several things happened, then I called Jeff and told him the water bill I'd just opened was unbelievably high, and the plumbers I'd called to ask about our problem with a "possible" leak somewhere had told me to shut off the water valve and I had no idea where it was. But I was hopeful because I remembered the home inspector guy having shown Jeff where it was. "Oh, I have no idea where that is...um...", Jeff said. So he came home and after a while, he found it written down in some report where the water shutoff valve was: in the crawlspace.
"Shit. Do we have a flashlight?" he asked.
I thought for a moment. "We've GOT to," I declared. I swear, that's what I said. In actuality, I figured the flashlight was probably in the laundry room somewhere, which was correct, but that statement is indicative of my uselessness in these situations.
Jeff crawled into the spidery dirty buggy horrible crawlspace with the flashlight, and I immediately heard him yell "Ohhhh, my GOD!!!" Turns out a faulty pipe under the house had been constantly spraying water around under there for, uh, a while. There was a lot of mud and awfulness. Jeff couldn't find the shutoff down there, so we called the water company and a guy drove up outside the house and turned the water off for us. The shutoff was under an oval lid in the ground next to the mailbox. Sigh. So we had to wait for the plumbers to come laugh at us while our backs were turned. While we did that, Jeff finished up a theater poster he'd been designing and I hung around and worried, drinking grape soda and reading comics. Finally, they came, looked at the problem, fixed it in about an hour and a half or so, and charged us $265. Which we only had in a pretend sort of way in our pathetic savings account.
Pretty shitty day off from work, all told. And I have to work this weekend at the library. Fuck all.
But I must say that in between all the fluttering around, worrying, freaking out, fumbling around, looking-for-where-that-thing-is, I-don't-know-sweetie stuff, we were laughing our fucking asses off at what a couple of total doorknobs we are. Which is good, I guess.