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.

Friday, September 18, 2009

9/17/09 - Because I promised

We return from the Aretha Franklin show at Radio City Music Hall weary, exasperated, underwhelmed with the performance. My body still buzzes with adrenenline from the end of the show where Katie, in contrast to her usual modus operandi, actually stopped a fight between two assholes sitting near us in our mezzanine seats.

There's a moment or two of bickering as we pack for tomorrow's journey to Connecticut for her cousin's wedding (do I have any clean clothes? Can I pull off stripes with pinstripes? Will you just answer the question?) until Katie, seeing that I am using the ironing board, throws down her unironed shirt on the couch with a sigh and goes to take a shower.

I pick up the shirt and, despite its being a girl's shirt and therefore constructed like the proverbial Chinese Algebra problem, I attempt to iron it, hoping that with this small act I can smoothe both her ruffled fur, and mine.