Walking Shoes

On the night of my eighteenth birthday, I left home. Didn’t even say goodbye. I knew Mom wouldn’t mind. I think she knew I would disappear one day. I left our little house in the woods with nothing but the clothes on my back, some food in my bag, and my walking shoes on my feet. It was especially dark that night, no stars out and the moon black in the sky. I didn’t know where I was stepping or what my destination might be, and I didn’t care.

Walking was all I ever did. As soon as I was able to walk, I would walk from place to place, school, work, home. I took the same path every day the same trees and bushes littered my path. The repetitious scenery wore on me until the images of those paths burned into my skull. All I wanted more than anything was to pull the trees out from the roots so that something would be different, that something would change.

Nothing ever did change, though. Even my shoes were the same. The shoes with the silver lighting bolt on the side, that was one constant I didn’t mind. The shoes always fit ever since I was given them when I was a boy. I always placed them next to the front door every day, at the exact angle as always. It just felt right to do it that way. I felt that it was what the shoes wanted. I treated them well and in return, they stayed on my feet these long years.

Even now as we walked this long, dark unknown path, they held tight to my feet. But even my old traveling companions can’t keep my feet from hurting after walking for so long. I sat on a large rock and stared deep within to that void of vines and trees so different to what I was used to. The trees and brush back home would line my path but would never dare touch the path itself. These trees, however, moved wherever they wished and seemed to hate me for being there as much as I hated the old trees for never changing. Deep down I knew I didn’t belong, that I missed my bland but familiar path, and I missed my dull but stable routine, but I knew I couldn’t return.

I had gone so deep into these woods that returning home would be impossible. I had made my choice to leave, and now I had to follow it through. I stood up from the rock, and as the dead leaves crunched under the weight of my foot, I could feel my shoe begin to come apart at the sole. Walking was all I ever did. As soon as I was able to walk, I would walk from place to place, school, work, home. I took the same path every day the same trees and bushes littered my path. The repetitious scenery wore on me until the images of those paths burned into my skull. All I wanted more than anything was to pull the trees out from the roots so that something would be different, that something would change. Nothing ever did change, though. Even my shoes were the same. The shoes with the silver lighting bolt on the side, that was one constant I didn’t mind. The shoes always fit ever since I was given them when I was a boy. I always placed them next to the front door every day, at the exact angle as always. It just felt right to do it that way. I felt that it was what the shoes wanted. I treated them well and in return, they stayed on my feet these long years. Even now as we walked this long, dark unknown path, they held tight to my feet. But even my old traveling companions can’t keep my feet from hurting after walking for so long. I sat on a large rock and stared deep within to that void of vines and trees so different to what I was used to. The trees and brush back home would line my path but would never dare touch the path itself. These trees, however, moved wherever they wished and seemed to hate me for being there as much as I hated the old trees for never changing. Deep down I knew I didn’t belong, that I missed my bland but familiar path, and I missed my dull but stable routine, but I knew I couldn’t return. I had gone so deep into these woods that returning home would be impossible. I had made my choice to leave, and now I had to follow it through. I stood up from the rock, and as the dead leaves crunched under the weight of my foot, I could feel my shoe begin to come apart at the sole.

– Matthew Brosche

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