Blue Mary Jane

They were blue shoes. Navy. Mary Janes, I think they’re called. Well, it was just one shoe actually. A tiny, buckled shoe without a foot.

I saw it there, the little toddler shoe, sideways in the street. The taxis passed by, but not close enough to run it over. Who would leave the shoe? It’s winter. It’s not so far into the street that the mother or nanny or father couldn’t reach down from the sidewalk and pick it back up. It must have been a shoe fallen, and unnoticed.

The bus came. I’m reading a thick book and sat in the first seat. I forgot about the shoe while I read my book. And got off the bus, and checked my mail, and walked into my apartment, had dinner, watched a movie, checked emails, showered, and read some more. And then I remembered. Was it still there? Did the bus run it over? Shift it?

I lost my Barbie’s outfit one day while at the grocery store. I was sitting in the shopping cart while my mother pushed. I had so many Barbie clothes with me, and it must have fallen out. I noticed it was gone around the freezer section.

I lost an earring once. A clip-on clown earring. It was a loss because I don’t ever remember having the first one, so when I lost this one, the whole pair was gone. I think I lost it in the room with the brown rug. It was probably vacuumed up.

I think it was a little girl who lost the shoe. In fifteen, twenty years, will she remember that she lost the blue shoe?

I don’t know how I am the same little girl who lost her Barbie’s clothes. Do I feel different? I can’t tell. I notice that I start many sentences with “I.” I remember doing this on purpose one day in grade school. We were instructed to write sentences around specific words. It must have been for spelling or vocabulary. I started the first sentence with “I.” I can’t remember when I decided to start every sentence with “I.” It was a conscious choice.

When we received our papers back the teacher said that we should try to avoid starting every sentence with the word “I.” I knew that she was talking about me. But she didn’t know that I had done it on purpose. I felt like she thought I was less capable than I actually was. She didn’t ask why I started everything with “I,” she just said “don’t.” I think if I were a little bit more uncertain of my decision that her words would have caused great confidence issues in my decision-making future. Or perhaps not. Perhaps we are all too sensitive.

I forgot about the blue shoes again. And I forgot again that it was just one.

Whose blue shoe am I?

– Mary Jane.