I wore my heeled ankle boots and kept lifting one foot or the other so that I would regain circulation to the soles of my feet. His hair hung in grimy stripes across his forehead, accentuating a receding hairline that doesn’t actually exist. As always, there was a strange sort of detachment and nervousness that hung directly under his skin.
He paid for his food before me in line. He nervously tore open his wallet to grab some money. A blue strip of paper fell out and landed in front of him. My eyes glanced down.
Theresa 710 -….
I moved my eyes up. A bitter and sad knife-like feeling swept across my body. I tilted my head up and coughed a laugh to myself.
After he finished a cigarette I suggest we walk around, realizing only when I stood up what shoes I was wearing. As we started around the campus, I had a thought flit across my mind.
“Have you ever heard the real version of Little Mermaid?”
“No, the Hans Christian Anderson version.”
I returned to silence. His head turned to me.
“It looked like you had a thought with that.”
I sighed and started, “To walk, the sea witch gives her a potion that will give her legs. The side effect is that every step on land will feel like a thousand knives shooting through her legs. She even dances with him even though she knows she will be in pain.”
She also loses her voice for him, but I didn’t mention that.
“I feel a bit like that with my shoes.”
He laughs, but doesn’t understand.