It has been 6 days, 12 hours, 27 minutes and 56 seconds since "it" happened and I finally feel ready to talk about it...
*Takes deep breath, composes self*
Sorry I thought I was ready, this is gonna be harder then I thought.
It was a Friday, it was quite mild, I had been out, builders had been round, a discovery had been made. A box had been opened, something had been found, panic had set in, whispers had gone round...
"Who’s gonna tell her?"
"She’ll be distraught"
"Someone has to"
"Ok I will"
A worried, anxious looking face approaches me; a hand is placed on my shoulder, a rub, a pat, a squeeze, a sorry smile...
"Sooo.... there was a pipe leaking outside.... the window ledge you had stacked your erm shoe boxes in has been affected.... it's erm kinda damp, some of the boxes got a little bit ruined, the shoes were.... *ahem* A little bit wet"
Cue heart sinking, floor moving, walls rotating, hot, sweaty, dizzy feeling
No-one is making eye-contact with me, my voice is a high pitched whisper that belongs to someone else "what do you mean... wet?"
"Well, they must've got wet as they appear to be, well, you know, slightly dampish looking, go and have a look, it's not that bad"
Again with the high-pitched whispering voice from unknown “slightly dampish looking” what the hell does that mean?
The walk downstairs is dreamlike, the 14 steps, become a long, windy spiral staircase of epic proportions with the words “wet”, “dampish”, “shoes” floating in and out of my consciousness.
I get to the room, boxes on the floor, one on the top, lid slightly raised... A pair of Office shoes, the ones I bought when I was pregnant, my yummy mummy out on the town, laden with post-bump memories shoes... Are.... GREEEEEEEENNNNNNNNNN!!!!
My heart is beating so fast I feel faint, I back out of the room holding onto the wall as I go so as not to fall over, sit on bottom step head between knees trying not to hyperventilate... Brown paper bag, brown paper bag. Words are dive-bombing me, cartoon-style... Consciousness is trying to elude me…
I am shaky and nauseous, tears prick at my eyes. I can't bring myself to go back into the room, the possible devastation is too great to even contemplate... Hundreds of pounds worth of ruined, irreplaceable, invaluable, sentimental, beautiful, beautiful, shoes. Yearned for, owned, broken in, loved… Leather and suede, patterned and plain, pointed and rounded, knee highs and ankles, straps and courts, wedges and stilettos, lace, buckles, zips and bows… Ruined... I am overcome, inconsolable, unresponsive.
I don’t know how long I sit there in the vacant grey mist of sorrow…
Eventually someone ventures downstairs to take a look…
Only to find that the general disorder and devastation that chooses to follow me around like a travellers rucksack, coupled with my perfectly honed, but unintentionally lackadaisical way of never returning things to their rightful place had resulted in all but 2 of the shoe boxes being empty...
Panic over!!! Chaos reigns supreme!!! Oh yea!!
“No woman needs more than one pair of shoes. But when it comes to shoes and women, the word ‘need’ doesn’t make any sense.” - Alicia Muñiz (shoe collector, designer, and founder of Comme il Faut)