Sole Mates

Sole Mates

Flap, stomp, flap, stomp, flap…

“Ah, crap.” I paused in the middle airport walkway and looked down at my feet. The sole of my right shoe hung loosely exposing the bottom of my sock. The super glue I had speedily applied before leaving Siem Reap 20+ hours ago had given up it’s hold, yet the drop I spilled on my pants was still clinging to the skin beneath… I pulled two-years worth of luggage aside, avoided the stares of those passing by, and looked longingly upon my shoes, which were now long past the point of repair.

We found each other in a musty, second-hand store full of Japanese clothes undoubtedly sent to Cambodia to “help” people. They were hidden away on a bottom shelf, a worn pair of knock-off Doc Martens. It was love at first sight, and again after I learned they were only $8. Sure, every now and then one of the soles would nearly fall of, requiring me to scamper around town at midnight in my socks and friend’s flip flops trying to find an open store selling super glue. One night, the girls working at the UCare pharmacy looked at me with so much pity before handing me a half-used bottle of glue, free of charge.

So it shouldn’t have been a surprise when it happened again smack dab in the middle of the Toronto airport after having spent the previous 15-hour flight battling food poisoning (a tale for another time…). I gave into defeat and shuffled in my socks to the nearest trashcan, said farewell, and didn’t look back. Luckily I had packed a pair of moccasins relatively near the top of one of my bags, although it took a while to figure out which one…

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