Friday, 4 March 2011

Red Shoes #fridayflash

The girl totters on the edge of the pavement. The heels on her red stilettos are high enough and thin enough that if she moves one inch forward she'll fall in front of the cars racing past her. I feel like yelling, "Be careful love," but she won't hear me from down there. Instead I watch her trying to put her umbrella up. It looks like one of the crap ones from the 99p store - it ain't no wonder,  it keeps blowing inside out.  Despite the weather, she's wearing next to nothing - a thin white cardigan over a low cut blouse, a short black skirt, bare legs. She must be freezing dressed like that, yet she don't seem to notice. She just teeters on the brink of danger. Looks like she's trying to decide something.

I used to dress like that, not caring about the wind and rain, so long as the look was right. I even had a pair of shoes to match - ruby red and glistening with fake diamonds. The were magic - my red shiny shoes - just one click of the heels and off we'd dance on other adventure  - clubs, parties, concerts, we went everywhere together. Why, we even once tripped off with a fella up to Blackpool to see the lights. Fantastic they were, and so was he. And he wasn't the only one, neither. My lucky shoes took me dancing, night after night, bloke after bloke.Lovely days they were. Till we danced into George. And after that, I didn't need no more excitement, I had enough right here at home. Life was like that for ever such a long time.

Of course, we don't get up to much these days, George and I. There's not much scope in this tiny flat. And who wants to go out in this wind, when you need thermals just to go to the post office? I'm not like that girl in the street no more. Those days are long gone.

The rain has eased off and  the girl's put her brolly down. She turns her head slightly and gazes back this way. Perhaps she's looking at someone, her eyes rest on the flats next door. I'm probably making it up- but it seems to me she's saying goodbye. She turns back towards the road, as if she's come to a decision. Yes, she's taking a step onto the street. There she goes, dashing across the traffic on the dual carriageway. I watch her trip her way towards the tube. You go my girl - I think - click your heels and be off.

The clock strikes five. The sun comes out from behind a cloud. Perhaps there'll be a rainbow in a minute. I don't have to wait though. George needs his tea. He don't like it when I keep him waiting. I slip my red slippers back on and head to the kitchen. I think we'll have chops tonight.

7 comments:

Sulci Collective said...

love the symbology of the red shoes being replaced by the red slippers, that was fantastically seamless.

marc nash

John Wiswell said...

I didn't read symbolism into the red slippers, so much as I viewed them as a nice touch. That's what she's traded as life's gone on. I see it as practical rather than tragic, though I'm sure some kids would disagree.

PJ said...

I think it has a tragic tinge to it - especially with her applauding the red heeled girl to go ... almost like "go and be free ..." Very nice portraits of both women.

Virginia Moffatt said...

Thanks folks for the lovely comments. I think you can read it both as practical - the older woman has reached a settled stage in life, or tragic, she no longer has excitement and fun. I think there's a little of both...

L'Aussie said...

I love it. Love the point of view and the contrasts but I must admit I was waiting for the car crash as little red shoes ran into the road!

Denise:)

Icy Sedgwick said...

This reminded me a little of Alan Bennett's Talking Heads in a way. I love the whirlwind of adventure of the shoes, though considering the fact she's indoors and warm with cosy red slippers, I think she's possibly better off than the slip of a girl outside.

mazzz in Leeds said...

I read it as a mixture of nostalgia and being settled.

And I must say, although we're only staying in and watching some Battlestar Galactica this evening, I might dress up a bit!