Highway Shoes

On a good day, my commute to work is about 45 minutes, the way home an hour plus involving two bridges, a highway and a number of city streets. On an average day, especially now school is back in session, I can easily add another half hour to that each way. As I sit in traffic inching my way through the backups, I can’t help but realize that my average days commute would have me halfway to Cannon Beach.

Anyway, while I’m sitting there with nothing to do but grind my teeth and wait for the bumper of the car in front of me to move a little further away so I can take my foot off the brake for 3.2 seconds, I find myself looking around at the flotsam scattered by the side of the highway. Along with the bits of retread rubber and the odd hubcap, there are always lots of shoes.Over the summer the number of shoes have grown. Shoes from both sexes. shoes from all ages. Shoes of all kinds, from lace-up to sandals. Always just the one.

I got to wondering how did they get there? Did someone lose some cargo? Did a small child toss a loose shoe through an open car window? Was someone sitting in the passenger seat with their feet on the dash/window sill and catch their flip-flop on the door frame? (I will cop to doing that once myself.) Each shoe has a story behind it, from the sad to the mundane.

I suppose a highway isn’t exactly a place one would stop to retrieve a lost shoe, I doubt even Carrie Bradshaw would want to take her life into her hands for one of her precious Manolos. So the sad, lonely shoes lay out there…rain or shine, night and day, waiting for their next unfortunate neighbour to come flying out of a passing vehicle and land beside them.

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