So we didn’t win the lottery on Friday.
Same shit, different date, I know. I’m not entirely unrealistic in my expectations. But it’s been a bad couple of weeks for me health-wise, and it would’ve been really nice if this had been the draw that rescued me from the job that drains all my energy and the stifling hot bedroom with zero air circulation that won’t let me have a proper sleep to build up any new energy to drain.
Although it’s probably best that we didn’t win this week. Turns out there were four winning tickets in total, and Nutty Hubby and I don’t like to share, and it might look just the slightest bit suspicious if all the other winners mysteriously disappeared.
So we’re not millionaires, and we’re not murderers. I guess there are worse things.
We did hit a milestone of sorts, though. Nutty Hubby actually threw away a pair of sandals he had literally worn through.
Apparently miracles do happen.
Of course, the sandal funeral was long overdue. The supposedly sacrosanct articles of footwear in question looked like they were salvaged from a disaster area. The balls of Nutty Hubby’s feet had bored holes all the way through their soles with the efficiency of an unearthed mole frantically scrabbling to get back below ground. He’d excavated one so thoroughly across its entire width that only a couple of thin threads of rubber tread were holding the shredded halves together.
If you wanted to, you could’ve strapped them to your face and been able to still see perfectly well through the holes, looking only marginally more stupid than someone sporting Google Glass.
I don’t know why you’d do that, but you could.
Anyway, since Nutty Hubby is that stereotypical guy who wears everything he owns until it finally just disintegrates off him, this sudden acknowledgement of the death of his sandals was a surprise. I’d been expecting him to remain in denial until the things actually fell off his feet in a tattered pile of rubble, but yesterday he scooped them up on our way out and hucked them into the dumpster without ceremony or even a backward glance.
He said he chucked them so he wouldn’t be tempted to wear them anymore. I still don’t understand what was so alluring about wearing shoes that looked like they’d got on the wrong side of a threesome with a lawn mower, but they’re gone and that’s all that matters.
We were heading out because I was in a blah mood and if I didn’t get my ass out the door I’d end up wasting the whole day lying on the couch like an invalid. Nutty Hubby suggested we walk along the seawall to EB Games and that sounded like a more productive plan than my idea of just moving locations and lying on the beach like an invalid, so off we went.
It was a gorgeous fucking day. Everybody was out enjoying the weather. Dogs were running around happily with their tongues hanging down to their toes; hopeful children were selling lemonade. A delicious slow breeze took the edge off the otherwise omnipresent heat.
We had just made it past Granville Island when Nutty Hubby noticed a broken blister on his heel where his sneaker had been rubbing against it. I asked him why he wasn’t wearing any socks and he said his feet would sweat too much in socks. I said that was kind of ridiculous because it was 25°C and his feet were going to sweat no matter what, in response to which he just shrugged because apparently sock logic is as bemusing to him as his love of decomposing footwear is to me.
And being him, he opted to just leave his heel hanging over the back of his shoe and keep walking like nothing was wrong for the remaining two and a half kilometers or so to our destination.
After a lengthy stop around kilometer #5 for a late lunch at Branas Mediterranean Grill, where the calamari comes direct from Heaven’s deep fryer, we made it to EB and immediately got our geek on. Several game purchases and a random debate with the store staff over Super Smash Bros. minutiae later, we managed to extricate ourselves before we bought anything else and made our way down to 7th Avenue, intending to take a more straightforward route back home than the one by which we had arrived.
It was at this point that Nutty Hubby decided he was done with shoes for the day, and announced that he would be going barefoot for the rest of the walk home. To my own surprise, I was instantly on board with this plan. As someone who used to freely scramble over razor sharp Hawaiian lava rocks on vacation and race my friends across shell beaches without a care in the world, it’s almost a disgrace how much toughness my feet have lost over the years of being an office drone.
And I found myself thinking back to summers as a kid, when I practically lived outdoors and “shoes” might as well have been a dirty word. If there’s one thing I miss about my childhood, it’s those barefoot summer days.
So why the fuck not? You can’t go home again, but you can take off your shoes.
I kicked off my sneakers, and Nutty Hubby kicked off his, and we walked the 3 kilometers home along 7th with our shoes in our hands, smiles on our faces, and nothing between our feet and the road but the rising waves of afternoon heat. By the home stretch, our soles were smarting, but we knew they’d forgiven us worse.
I felt a strange sense of accomplishment when we reached our building. We hadn’t walked particularly far or fast, yet I felt more energized and refreshed than I’d been in…I couldn’t even tell you. I was hot, sweaty and sunburnt, and yet fantastically at peace with myself in the world.
The positivity I’d been seeking so desperately was finally within my grasp. At that point I didn’t care that I had to work in the morning, or that I’d eaten my weight in seafood and pasta at lunch, or that I’d be spending the next several days slathering aloe on my shoulders.
I was going to go make the most of the feeling while it lasted. Everything I did for the rest of the day, I was going to do with joy.
Starting with joyfully washing my feet.