I’m wearing in my new shoes today. I say ‘new’ but I’ve had them for two months now. They’re not cheap shoes. Not for blokes’ standards. I find anything above £50 to be not cheap. Anything above £100 is fucking stupid. What is also stupid is that I have to wear the buggers in. Surely I have parted with enough cash enabling me to wear my newly purchased leathers straight away. From the shop if necessary. Like when I was a kid; “Do you want to wear them home?” my mum would ask through a warm and proud smile. “No thanks, mother. I have to wear these bad boys in for at least a month before they’re deemed trustworthy and pain-free.” Was surely never my retort.
These fuckers have actually torn chunks out of my heel. Actual chunks. And apparently this is normal. Or so my female compadres tell me. Can this be so? Do other parts of clothing do perform such obscene rituals before they reach their purpose of everyday use? Does a pair of jeans grind a single testicle to that of a coffee bean? Does a T-Shirt remove a rib? I think not. So why is it acceptable for shoes to do such harm? Apparently because once they are – reluctantly – worn in, they are comfort personified. I should bloody well hope so. I have a big cheque to cash with the Bank of Karma. So bring on the comfort. It should be pretty amazing considering my heel needed a skin graft.
Thick socks. Thick socks, plasters and persistence. This is the advice from my friend Sam who had been walked through the healing process (pun definitely intended) by his wife. Wait for the wounds to heal, put plasters on where the damage was done, and wear thick socks. Oh, and persist. Yawn. I have a penis; I don’t have time for this. But because I have a penis, I will not allow myself to be defeated by a pair of shoes. What self-respecting male could? So here I am. Persisting with these shoes that tease me so. I like how they look. I want myself and the shoes to become best buds. I want to know that if I pop off for a few days, these shoes can be relied upon to walk scores of miles, dance disco shapes and basically not rip the flesh from my bone. Be like normal shoes on the very basic level. But no. Not yet apparently. I feel like Tom Cruise in the film Far and Away. Him and his crazy horse that – after a dysfunctional and painful start – eventually turns out to do the Crusiemeister proud. But not before Tom punches the long-faced freak in the face. Something I’ve tried on my shoes. That doesn’t work unfortunately.
Damn you shoes! You have me wearing white socks. Thick sports socks like the ones posh people wear for their weekly tennis match on their private court. I am rocking the sports socks however. My heel is ever so grateful and I think the leathers are starting to understand. But when did white socks become so un-cool? Who made this rule up? Who could be so anti-white socks that they have to spread a rumour that white socks are so un-cool? My feeling is that somebody started selling black sports socks and grew envious of the popularity of the white sports sock. Action had to be taken. But then something bad happened. Not only had the white sports sock become un-cool, but people started to believe that ALL sports socks were un-cool – including black sports socks. And thus the monopolisation of the sports sock industry had come to an end. Instead cotton socks were now reigning supreme and Marks & Spencer were laughing all the way to the bank. Which would please my Mum. She loves Marks & Spencer.
So yeah, check out my white socks. You like huh? I’m thinking they’re so un-cool I can play the ‘irony’ card. If that doesn’t work I can whip out my anorak which is safely stashed away in my rucksack. Yes, I know what you’re thinking, and the word you’re looking for is ‘Supafly’. Surely when Curtis Mayfield wrote that track, he was thinking of me in my white socks and anorak carrying my rucksack.
Okay I’m gonna stand up now and take these bad boys for a spin. The shoes and the socks. And me. And hopefully a fully-fleshed heel and the end of it. If not I may have to try further techniques. I could try possibly to emotionally break the shoes down. Tell them they’re worthless and that no-else would want them, thus destroying their confidence leaving me as their emotional crutch. Every now and then I get a bit heavy handed. And then when the other shoes enquire about the scuffs on the leather, my shoes will get all defensive saying; “It’s okay, it’s okay, he didn’t mean it. I probably deserved it anyway. I LOVE HIM!” Hmmm.
Here goes. How is it? Just a little bit of discomfort. Not too bad. But not right. I still can’t envisage myself running for that bus, or darting in between traffic, or kicking the shit out of tramps. No, not just yet. But look mummy, I’m walking!
Disappointingly, I suppose when me and my shoes eventually do get all matey, it’ll be time for me to get the thongs out. Or flip-flops as you might call them. For me they are the essence of relaxation and laziness. No socks, no laces, no hassle. And this year I’ll have an extra scar on my heel to show off too. Until that time I’ll persist with the white socks and ever so un-hip hop limp. Fuck you shoes!