In lieu of writing about how spring has come early or how I have started playing with yarn again or even bitching about just everything in my closet seems threadbare and needs replacing, I have decided to write - creatively that is. A friend sent me this link to some writing exercises and I thought I should stretch my mental legs a bit.
Sometimes fiction is easier to write than life. (It's certainly more often entertaining.)
I didn't bother with prompts one through three. It's supposed to be a creative exercise, right? Right.
Ducking my head I pushed my way out of the cold and into the waiting room. Social etiquette obligated me to say hello and so I did, but I didn’t mean it. I was not hoping to make real contact with this group of people if I didn’t have to. I hadn’t asked to be here today.
Exercise #4You are in a waiting room (doctor's office, job interview, etc.). People are sitting more or less in a circle. Describe several of them -- focusing only on their feet! Type of shoes, cleanliness and condition of shoes, toes if they show, how they let their feet rest. Are they quiet or do the feet move? What can you tell about the person from the feet?
Further than that, The Government's creative liberties classified each job socially as well. For instance the Secretary who sat in front of me: Her black stiletto boots had looked as uncomfortable as the probably were, the idea being that she mostly didn't need comfort in a shoe because she spent most of her time at a desk but also that she was a sex symbol. Any respect that being a secretary once contained as a profession was gone when The Government add shiny zippers and buttons to her tall leather boots. Now it was a well known fact that Secretaries were rather abused by their male counterparts. Who could respect such a whore in boots like that. Those boots were meant for bed, were they not?
To be a mother was no better. The invention of a Mother's shoe instantly reverted them to those long ago years of black and white television when women wore dresses and vacuumed the house in their high heels. The Government assumed that Mothers did not need practical shoes, that their role was to be pretty up the home and off a pleasant distraction to the Husband. The Mother in spot number three in the waiting room bounced a baby on her knee, her leg jittering nervously in her high black high heels with their think black strap and shiny silver buckle. Her shoes were unscuffed but the soles were well worn and her feet were strong inside of them, evidencing that she rarely went without. Her baby wore no shoes, naturally. If I were to look at her face, I imagined that she would give the feeling that she didn't want to be here either.
Tired of the black shoes around me and disinterested in my book I looked down at my own shoes. As a Husband I had two titles but I was still only issued the one pair of shoes, that of my profession. Unlike Mothers my role as Husband was considered unimportant. Even if I was a Father (a role which would replace my title of Husband), it was only my position as Computer Wizard that was recognized by The Government.
I was well respected. As a Computer Wizard I had a relative amount of power. Everything was linked into the computer these days, thus I was linked into everything. I was privy to certain information that Ordinary People were not privy to.
My shoes were nice. I shined them each day because I had worked hard for them. Black like all the rest they had a handsome square toe and a full, thick strap to replace the regular laces. Where lesser professions might have had Velcro on their straps, my shoes had two little buckles, securing them firmly to my feet. The clicked when I walked. People regarded my shoes with admiration.
I was proud of my shoes until recently. After my Wife died I stopped shining them. I didn't care really, I ached so much in a place I had long since forgotten I had. I had thought that work was everything, my Wife just a pleasant reward to all my hard work.
She couldn't have children. It wasn't terribly unusual these days but as The Government considered Wives who could not bear children superfluous she was sentenced to death. They promised me another Wife and while I am sure I would be issued another, I wanted my Wife. My wife. I loved her.
So I stopped shining my shoes. The Company noticed, of course and I now I was being demoted. In this waiting room, with all the others who were about to be demoted, I could have cared less. They would take away and issue me new shoes. Eventually I would get a new Wife, a young one who could give me progeny. I would be a different person after they took away my smart, buckling shoes.
I waited my turn. One by one the people who came before me were demoted. The Mother left in the shoes of a Cleaninglady, her baby taken away to be raised as something useful to society by The Orphanage. What she did to deserve that, I cannot imagine. Her shoes had been well worn.
Four, three, two... I counted down to my turn - to my new life. I was not nervous. I was a little ashamed, perhaps, about my shoes. Without my Wife, though, what would Life really be? I didn't care to find out. Perhaps I would be given the shoes of something physical and mindless like a Farmer or a Carpenter. The time had come. My turn.
The faceless Director stepped out of his office in his shiny, pointy shoes looking impatient. It was my turn.
I said goodbye to my shoes, silently and sadly. Goodbye to my old Life.