Thursday, June 20, 2013

Shoelaces - A Short Story

I wrote this short story about five years ago in College. I just rediscovered it. It was greatly inspired by my love of Charlie Brown's self deprecating attitude, my sometimes overly analytical personality, and the short story "A Telephone Call" by Dorothy Parker. It's fairly profane, so if swear words offend you I apologize. What do you want from me? I was writing an angsty story and thought I was the breeze.


            I forgot to tie my shoes. Shit. I spent all this time getting ready and I’ve forgotten to tie my shoes. She could be here any minute, and she’d walk through that door and see me standing in the entryway like a well dressed moron with his shoes untied. Fuck. I need to tie my shoes.
            I bent down to grab the laces. The doorbell rang. No! What should I do? Should I try and tie my shoes really fast, I could tuck the laces inside the shoes, give them the loafer appeal. Yeah! Loafers are what men wear when they get older. They’re not lazy, they’re sophisticated. You get that right to wear shoes that need no tying when you become a gentleman. Gentlemen need not waste their time on tying shoes, but rather spend it crooning women. Is that the word? Crooning? Fuck. Was it crooning or swooning? Shit I need to tie my shoes. The doorbells ringing and I’m standing here like an asshole.
            No, no time to tie my shoes. I need to answer the door. It’s her. It’s her. She’ll be all beautiful like she always is and wearing those high heeled boots she always wears, the ones with the really long laces. Fuck! If she’s wearing those boots, she’ll no doubt have tied the laces! Damn it I didn’t take that into account when I was getting ready. Those are her favorite footwear. She’ll look me up and down and notice my untied shoes and start to think, Well if I had the time to tie my world’s longest fucking boot laces, he should at least have had time to tie his small little dress shoes. What will I say? “Let me tie my shoes and then we can go…” Yeah, that’s good. She’ll understand, I’m just a little flustered by her beauty. She’ll think, How cute, he’s so caught up in me he forgot to tie his shoes. He must think I’m beautiful. And we know that’s the fucking truth. She is beautiful. She’ll be smitten with me simply because I forgot to tie my shoes. I’m golden.
            Here I go toward the door. No! No, what if I’m wrong? What if she thinks I forgot to tie my shoes on purpose, she thinks I’m trying too hard to be cute and I look like an asshole. Fuck! I look like an asshole.
            Can she see me through the window? If she could she would just see me standing here, doing nothing, and wonder what the matter with me was. What is the matter with me? Just bend over, tie your shoes and answer the door. She can wait another thirty seconds while I tie my shoes into those perfect little bows. That would turn her on. She seems like a perfectionist. She’ll look down, see my shoes and notice the perfectly tied bows, created for ease in untying which might suggest I’m a gentleman but I’m not scared to get a little dirty under the sheets. Yeah! Oh my God I’m going to get laid because my shoes will be tied so well! Ask any guy if he got laid because of his ability to tie his shoes. He’ll say no. But ask me and I’ll say yes. I will nod my head and shake your hand and teach you how to do it too. I’ll write a fucking book about tying your shoes and then getting action. It’ll be called, “Shoe laces in action.” Oh my God that’s brilliant, like a play on words. Shoe laces, the subject, me, and action, the sex, the object, the goal! I am going to have sex with a beautiful woman tonight simply because I tied my fucking shoes.
            She keeps ringing the doorbell. Is she huffing outside? It is cold. I suppose she’s probably trying to keep herself warm. Oh fuck…she doesn’t have a coat. Of course she doesn’t have a coat; she’s going to come coatless so when we go out, she can wear my coat. She’s testing my ability to be a gentleman. If I offer her my coat, I’m a gentleman, if I don’t I’m a fuck up. Shit, she’s freezing her ass off out there.
            Maybe I should try to boil some water real quick. We’ll have some tea and then go out. I’ll kick off my shoes, put on my slippers, and welcome her inside for a moment because I’m a gentleman. She’ll see my slippers, think I look comfy and cozy, and want to stay in and snuggle all night. She’ll love me. She will fall in love with me because I’ll be wearing slippers and because I didn’t worry about wearing shoes that needed tying. Women love a man who’s comfortable in his appearance and demeanor. That’ll be me; the attractive yet comfortable male figure. I’ll appear fatherly to her almost, chicks dig their Dads right, Freud and his Elektra complex or whatever? She’ll see my slippers, think I look comfy, and think of her father who she loves so much, and want to lay me in the fucking entryway.
            Okay, let’s do that. Put on my slippers.
            Wait. What if she hates her father? Oh God. What if her father wears slippers and he used to beat her and she’s like an old abused dog that seems one hundred percent fine when you pet it but if it sees a slipper it pisses and shits itself? Fuck. I don’t want to make her piss and shit herself. Okay I’ll just tie my shoes so I look prepared.
            She keeps ringing that fucking doorbell!
            I’m walking to the door, I’m going to open it and she’s going to smile. I’ll welcome her in for a moment, tie my shoes, and then we’ll go out. Just like two adults. I can’t wait for this. She’s going to love me. I know I already love her. That time she touched my shoulder at the cafĂ© when we had pie together. What did she say to me? It was something about…oh fuck. She complimented me on my shoes. They were loafers. They were my Dad’s. I’d borrowed them for a presentation. Oh God no. She’s going to expect me to wear the loafers on our date. She saw me wear them; she told me they looked professional. If I don’t wear those on our date, on this special occasion, I’ll look like an asshole. It’ll be awkward. But I don’t have the loafers anymore; I gave them back to my dad. Oh no. I’m fucked. She’s going to hate me. She’s going to think I disrespect her opinion and that her words of kindness and tenderness mean nothing to me. It’ll be like the biggest slap in the face to her.
            No. I’ve got no other option. I’ve got to tie my shoes and face this situation like a man. She’ll have to like me for who I am, because I’m me. She won’t care about my shoes, laces tied or untied. I’m going to open that door and just hug her and then we’ll see where it goes from there.
            What’s that noise? What is that? Oh no. Oh God no. She’s getting into her car. She’s going to leave. Fuck! She thinks I’m not home. Oh shit what do I do? Do I try to stop her? Do I call her later and make an excuse. Shit she’ll think I’m an asshole. She already does. I stood her up. I’m in my fucking house, she was here, and I stood her up by just standing here doing nothing. I have to stop her. I need to stop here. Here it goes.
            I’m opening the front door, I’m chasing after her car, and it’s leaving the driveway. Can she see me? I probably look like an asshole, chasing a car. I’m waving to her, stop, please stop! I don’t think she sees me.
            Oh shit. I’m falling. Why am I falling? I was just running and, there’s no ice on the ground. It is cold but there’s no ice. I should have raked the leaves for her this afternoon. She’s still driving. She didn’t see me. Why did I fall?

            I hit the ground. I feel pain in my knee. I must have landed on it wrong. Why did I fall? I look back for a moment to see. Oh shit. I tripped on my fucking shoelaces.

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