I was just walking down the street in Toronto, on holiday. I didn’t mean to buy shoes. They didnâ€™t give me any choice. They called out to me as I walked past. For all I knew they were invisible to anyone else, and had just appeared in time for me to walk by. The shop only had the one pair. They fitted, and I could just about afford them.
My silver boots.
Rubber platform soled, calf length, silver lace up boots. A world away from the rest of my shoes â€“ grotty trainers; the black converse one stars held together by black electrical tape that were practically moulded to my feet; one pair of plain, flat, black doc martens for work. Yet somehow I knew these boots were for me.
They took me everywhere, those boots. The centre of attention with a little black dress; peeking out of the bottom of my purple cord trousers; buried in the mix of a short, rust coloured maternity dress covered in yellow stars and crescents worn with a necklace made of bells.
The platforms gave me an extra couple of inches in height. The brightness, and the unusual style suggested a confidence that I didnâ€™t have. I wore them partly to push myself to interact with people â€“ itâ€™s hard to hide in a corner with a book with silver boots on; and partly to hide behind â€“ the boots became the focus, rather than me.
Ten years on Iâ€™m not sure where the boots are. I think in the loft in my parentâ€™s home. Would I wear them now? I think I would, but for different reasons. Now Iâ€™d wear them as shoes should be worn â€“ as an accessory to me. I donâ€™t think they would out-shine me any more.
Written for Sunday Scribblings