One day my girlfriend went on a vacation. I really didn’t want her to go, but I didn’t have that much pull with her. She went anyway. So I waited. She seemed to be gone a long time. I think it was two about weeks.

When she came back, she walked into my house just as I was about to give up waiting and said, “I’m back!” With that she set a shoebox down on the table in front of me with something of a flourish. “I brought you something,” she cooed sweetly.

“Thanks,” I said. “I needed something to keep my canceled checks in.”

“No, the present is in the box.”

On opening the box, I found a pair of shoes. I had never seen anything like them before. They looked sort of like a cross between running shoes, sandals and court jester shoes, without the little bells.

“What are they?” I asked.

“They’re shoes,” she said proudly. “They’re the newest style. Everybody’s wearing them.”

“On what planet?”

“You don’t like them?” she asked, frowning. I could sense I might have hurt her feelings.

“No, no. They’re really great. Here, let me try them on.”

That night we went out for pancakes and I noticed that people were staring at my shoes. Apparently this style had not caught on here yet. I tried to hide my feet under the chair, but the other diners would drop their forks so they could bend down and get a better look. Later, when we were waiting for the bus, a crowd of people gathered, including a little kid who kept pointing and laughing until his mother, who was also laughing, took him away somewhere. When I got on, the bus driver asked me what nebula I wanted to go to.

“Just ignore him,” my girlfriend said. “He’s just jealous.”

“Yeah, that must be it.”

“You look great. In fact, you look very sexy in those shoes. Let’s go back to your place.”

So I kept the shoes, but they have not had the same effect on other women. I still have them, somewhere, although the girl that gave them to me went on another vacation. She’s been gone a long time. I think it’s about two years now. I hope she hasn’t found me a new hat.

© 2002 Kona Lowell