When I took the last shoe from the bag, my kitchen was full of red clay dust. As I looked at the pitiful lot of old, worn, fragile shoes I wondered what I was going to do with them.
I don’t think I had ever heard of someone who collected shoes. What would they be called? A “shoemismatic?” I was sure my prizes would never equal Imelda Marcos’ collection, but all her shoes really said were, “we once belonged to a very rich woman.”
My shoes surely had better stories.
I decided to clear a bookshelf of once admired and now defunct treasures to make room for my new stash. They would have their place of prominence where anyone who visited could gawk in admiration. But, if I was asked where I got them, what would I say? Would I admit that I had pilfered a deserted little building? If I did, would the police be knocking at my door? Decisions, decisions.
The next question I asked myself was…am I going to go back for more? Did I dare? I had escaped incarceration and I didn’t want to press my luck, but after a cup of fresh coffee, I decided that I would put on my big girl panties and yep…go back. I would wait until the next day and I would make it quick. Go back, dig for shoes, put in bag, make sure coast was clear, get out of Dodge. That sounded like a plan.
I was excited and I knew I wouldn’t sleep a wink, but not because I intended to once again break the law. I found it amusing and somewhat scary that it had taken so little and had been so easy for me to become nothing but a common criminal.
My daddy would have worn my fanny out if he knew what I had done and was going to do again…but he wasn’t here and he wouldn’t know…unless I had to call him to bail me out of jail. He wouldn’t do that of course. He would say something like “it serves you right…stealing shoes. What’s the matter with you?”
My evil twin tapped me on the shoulder once again and said, “you know, you’re not really stealing. It’s more like you’re rescuing!” I was glad I didn’t send her to Hell like I wanted to do before and wholeheartedly agreed. I needed that validation.
The next day I got up with a renewed sense of adventure. I drove to the old house, parked up the street and again, stealthy crept into the back yard and opened the door to the little building. I started pulling out shoes with the same vigor that was present when I was scarfing down black-eyed peas and cornbread. One after the other, they went into my bag.
The more I pulled out, the more excited I got. My evil twin was right. I was much more comfortable thinking that I was rescuing those shoes from their mud-packed grave, even though my good twin was singing in mocking fashion, “You’re…going…to…Hell…You’re…going…to…Hell.”
I was letting my evil twin out yell my good twin and decided that I would beg for forgiveness later. Seems like I had heard something about it being better to beg for forgiveness than to ask for permission. More validation for my villainous ways.
I finally decided that this would be the last time I flagrantly stole something, but I smugly thought, “this was so easy.” I momentarily found myself wishing that I had stumbled on a Fabergé egg graveyard. I would have been rich beyond the dreams of avarice.
Obviously I had already forgotten the panic and visions of handcuffs and prisons when I heard the sirens just the day before.
I gathered up my bags, closed the door to the little building and said a sad, final “farewell.” Bags in hand and head down, so as not to trip over any hidden tree stumps and fall face first into my shoes, I was startled when I heard a gruff, “what you got there?”
To be continued____________________________