“I’m watching the Weather Channel more than I’ve ever watched it. I’m scared to death it’s going to rain.” – John Elway
For nearly a year they lurked in the back of my closet, biding their time and growing in dark power. Watching. Waiting. And today their moment came. I was rushing around this morning and needed a pair of flats, so I reached into the dark depths and dragged them out.
And true to form the morning poured down rain for hours before turning into snow, making everyone’s thoughts of Spring die with the crocuses and budding leaves.
Worst of all, everyone knew it was my fault. I walked past Sav’s desk and, with a raised voice and condemning pointing finger, she declared, “This is your fault! You wore them!” Susie said something similar. Even J. burst out laughing when I met him for lunch, scampering to our car holding my trousers aloft and snarling profanities under my breath as my feet sunk into the slush. “Haven’t seen those in a while. Thanks for the rain, hon.”
While I’m flattered that my shoes have reached the level of apocryphal legend, I was determined to chuck them in the bin as soon as I got home. Surprisingly it was J. who stopped me.
“Why not?” I demanded, holding them above the bin threateningly.
“Because they’re pretty,” he insisted.
My eyes narrowed.
“And because in the summer when it gets really hot, you can wear them and cool the day down.”
“You want me to keep evil shoes just so you can run experiments on them?”
So weigh in, minions. Do I chuck them? Will that be enough to break their power? Or do I need to get the priest to sprinkle holy water on them before burning them in the backyard? Should I keep them and use their powers for good? Advise me.
“There will be a rain dance friday night, weather permitting.”
– George Carlin
I have an extraordinary pair of shoes. Not in the Christian Louboutain sense, or even the “By Jupiter, what on earth is she wearing on her feet?!” sense. I mean truly out of this world, inexplicable, baffling-to-science bizarre.
They were discovered at Target, sitting prettily on a shelf and on sale. “Purple flats with a J. Crew like ruffle?” thought Small Dog to herself, “Sold!” I happily tossed them into my basket and continued shopping, little knowing the fate that lay ahead of me.
The first time I wore them, it started raining on the way to work and I had to make a mad dash for the office, carefully holding my trousers at my calves to minimize water damage. They are suede-like and therefore absorbed at least a couple of deep puddles as I crossed the parking lot, and didn’t let a single drop of moisture escape. I had the squishy, uncomfortable sensation of walking around in sopping moss all day long.
Undeterred I wore them again a few days later and it started raining while I was at work and didn’t let up until late in the night. Which meant that, due to running errands for the department and fetching the officers’ laundry, my feet were soaked for several hours before I got to go home.
Mere coincidence, surely! All the same, they were regulated to the back of my closet for a couple of weeks to be on the safe side. But the next time I wore them I still came home looking like a drowned duck (and that time it managed to both rain and snow), so they were unceremoniously flung back into the closet to learn how to behave better towards their patient, shoe-loving mistress.
However, this morning in the scramble to get ready, the inevitable happened. It was the day that I’d be assigning dozens of students their security gear for the 4th of July festivities and I knew better than to wear heels. I could only find one half of the pair of flats I intended to wear and so, at a loss, I pulled them out again, gave them a quick talking to, and popped them on. The day passed without incident and scorching desert summer temperatures until late afternoon when the clouds rolled in (seemingly from nowhere!) and unleashed a torrent. Lacking windows I hurried to Susie and Wise’s office to see for myself, just in time to see a river of rain come rushing down a walkway from the quad and a broken branch whiz by. A boy was walking against the wind, which was so fierce that his umbrella had wrapped around his head and shoulders, and nearly blew him off the sidewalk.
It was also time to go to the laundry to pick up the officers’ laundry. The three of us watched in dismay as it got worse and worse while it got closer and closer to closing time. Susie was a dear and said she’d help me as soon as we saw a break in the clouds and finally one came and we sprinted down the hall (much to the shock of a couple of officers who managed to dodge out of our way). We threw bags of laundry over our shoulders, pushed past two sets of doors at a dead run, and were halfway across the parking lot when the skies reopened. I managed to hit the unlock button on the key chain and yank open the van’s door and we both catapulted into its relative safety. And then, because she was wearing a white skirt that had been soaked and didn’t want to make the situation worse by walking through an office entirely of men, we both climbed over the seats (without a lot of dignity) and headed off to the cleaner together. By the time we got back the storm was over, though the city was littered with leaves and shattered branches. And I still had to go to dinner and do a presentation in dripping shoes, and shudder when Susie mentioned some sort of infection or other that she knew of that came from wet feet and was nastier than Athletes Foot.
Anyone suffering from a particularly bad drought? Because I have the perfect footwear for your next Rain Dance.