People need shoes. I need shoes too, even when I don’t feel like a person. In less than a day I lost everything - I lost my home, I lost my income, I lost my car, and I lost my clothes - even my shoes. When my ex partner hurled me across the living room, bruised and shattered, I left. My shoes, a pair of burgundy ballet flats, were also left behind as I was taken away on an ambulance gurney.
While I was inside the hospital, my mind and soul slowly slipped away. The fear that he would come find me was unbearable. The doctors crammed my traumatized mind full of ghastly, anesthetizing drugs that stripped me of my humanity and personality for years to come.
Two weeks later, mid-August, I climbed out of a tiny, mint green Prius cab that had carried me away from the hospital to the next phase in the cruelest and most agonizing journey of my life. I stepped out of the cab, and flattened my bare feet on the scalding pavement in front of a shabby building cobbled together from the bones of an old hotel. The building masqueraded as, but wasn’t, a hotel. Rather, the building was a homeless shelter.
The cab driver noticed my bare feet. She, grinning, opens the trunk of her cab and points to a new pair of pink and black sneakers. She asks if they would fit me, “I’m an 8.5,” she says. “Me too!” I exclaim. She says I can keep them because I need them more than she does. I wondered for hours after she left how coincidental it was that we had the same shoe size and just how much I needed those shoes at that moment.