As I flip through a mental rolodex of pairs of shoes from throughout my life, short snippets of memory and emotion flash quickly past my mind’s eye; granting me just a moment with each before the next rushes in and reframes my possible answer to this question entirely.
I always knew I’d have to submit a story of my own. A simple task which can either stay simple or contain within it a piece of my memory and identity. Possibly—I tell myself—it could even contain within it a glimpse at the truths which I hold so tight and close that sometimes even I can go for weeks or months without peeking under the hood to check in on them.
“Shit. That’s how Steve Irwin went.” I think to myself as I set down the laminated informational sheet left for guests of Ixchel Ostional, our AirBnb’d casita on the coast of Costa Rica. In a matter of seconds, my visions of carefree playing in the ocean transform into horror scenes of swollen toes, infected insoles, and a trip to the ER in a country where I don’t speak the language. I calculate next the hours of driving between us and the nearest legitimate hospital; how we’d have to ford a literal river and cross three bridges — two of which are seemingly on their last leg — in pursuit of medical attention. Unfortunately this doesn’t leave much wiggle room for risk. Then again, I’m the dumbass who picked a secluded location next to a nature preserve in a country I’d never been to before as the destination for our casual getaway — so perhaps I needed to simplify. Maybe I’d be able to find protective footwear at one of the small beach towns less than an hour away. Maybe I’d forgo the swimming part all together. I really couldn’t afford to loose any toes this week … per usual.
New York is a built place you can see it in the facades of pre-war arches held by stubborn steadfast bricks and the faces of construction workers pouring cement into the early hours of the morning on a day when the mind is tired the results could swallow you