11 Replies to “Heels”

    1. Yikes!

      As with all the poems in the Conversari series, this came out of a conversation with Rachel. (She can stop by and elaborate on her recent painful experience if she wishes.)

    2. The event: father’s 80th birthday lunch; the venue: a club in Mayfair; my wardrobe: inadequate. Thus it was that, the morning before, desperate measures had to be taken. The internet was consulted, sale sites visited and a pair of shoes: smart, soft leather, rich tan, “extremely comfortable” according to all the reviews, was purchased. For delivery the next day. They have a three inch wedge heel and a very cute thin bow at the front, and arrived 40 minutes before I left the house. It should probably be recorded at this point that, not only had I not tried the shoes on, I had knowingly ordered a size larger than my own since it was all that was left in stock. Another piece of information which might be germane is the fact that I have not worn three inch heels since I was about 15. Our first pas de deux, these shoes and I, was when I slipped them on and walked out of the house. I did, in fact, manage something that might, if observed from a distance, be charitably labelled “walking” for a distance of about ten yards. At that point I stopped, leaned on a convenient wall, and stuffed a tissue in the toe of each shoe. This, you will no doubt be unsurprised to learn, improved the situation only in as much as each shoe no longer fell off at each step, merely at every third step. The trade-off was extreme pain in the toes as they rammed at an angle of precipitous degree against the unyielding yet still inadequate tissue. (The bleeding blisters which were almost immediately raised on the back of each achilles tendon we cannot blame on the heels since I find them a feature of most shoes whatever their design.) I was now not running late, I was hobbling pregnant-duck-with-broken-legs late and could occasionally be heard to emit a genuine and heartfelt groan of great pain along the 0.8 mile route to the underground station. When there, on the blessed relief of a seat, a second tissue was added to the first in each toe. Suffice it to say that, when required to walk again at the destination, this proved merely to increase the agony while reducing the slipping-off a minimal amount. On returning I took a longer route which required less walking but even so the moment I was disgorged onto a platform near home I removed the tormenting toe-boxes and danced home in stockinged feet. Or I would have done if my toes hadn’t been so bruised and swollen as to allow merely an animated shuffle. But oh the sweet relief of release from that torturing confinement.

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