Saturday, September 19, 2009

9/18/09 - Get the Cool Shoeshine

The latina woman who shines shoes in the shop in the breezeway tunnel below Grand Central is asleep curled up in her chair with one cheek resting on her fist when I walk into the shop. The neon sign on the window says "Keys Made Shoe Repair" in glowing red, and a paper sign below that says "Holiday Special $2 Shine".

She awakens without embarrassment and motions me into the chair where she proceeds to enact a very practical ritual with a minimum of wasted motion - brushing and wiping and spraying and shining and spraying and buffing and snapping the cloth and buffing some more until the shoe glows blackly beneath the greenish flourescent lights.

I ascend the stairs and walk into the sunlit day beneath a blue sky, and my shoes feel like magic on my feet - cooler, better fitting, dancing their way down the street with me in them, pulling me along the sidewalk through the day.

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