The Mystery of the Lone Shoe

I walk. A lot. I walk to work. I walk my dog. I walk to the store. And as I walk, I see all sorts of things—restaurants, new construction, shops, derelict buildings, historical sites, graveyards, churches, homes, yards, parks, cars going here, cars going there, people walking to and fro, and abandoned items.

Abandon items covers anything and everything.

Trash, like empty cups or fast food containers carelessly thrown out. Cigarette butts littering the sidewalks and grass. Empty water bottles left three feet from a trash receptacle. (Why someone can’t walk the extra three feet is on my long list of things I don’t understand.)

And the most interesting abandon items are the forgotten personal items—mittens, scarves, books, pens, baby socks/rattles/bottles/pacifiers (babies lose a lot of things).

We drop these forgotten items as we rush from here to there. Dropping them, littering up the world.

But the one particular abandoned item that always confounds me is the abandoned, single shoe. Or as I call it:

The Mystery of the Lone Shoe.

lone shoe.jpg

Sounds a bit like an Agatha Christie book or maybe a Nancy Drew story.

I see the lone shoe and questions abound. How do you lose just one shoe? Are you walking and your foot just slips out, but like Cinderella, you’re in a hurry so you keep on going leaving the shoe to be found by a handsome stranger? Are you carrying the shoes and you mistakenly drop one? Is that why you don’t realize the shoe has been left behind?

Maybe it fell out of your car? Or did you chuck it at someone? Were you simply tired of that particular shoe? Because maybe the left one always pinched your toe? Or the right one kept causing a blister on your heel? Or did the shoe break in someway that made it unwearable?

And sure, maybe the shoe accidentally fell out of a bag, and so that you didn’t notice until you got to wherever you were going and opened the bag to discover you only had one shoe. But that just leads to more questions. Why was your bag opened in such a way that only the one shoe, but no other items, fell out? And do you retrace your steps to attempt to find said lost shoe? Or do you simply write it off?

Then what do you do with the remaining shoe? Do you hold on to it in hopes you find the lost one? Or toss it? Do you have a collection of lone shoes? (Implying, of course, that you habitually lose just one shoe.)

So many unanswered questions. So many possibilities.

The Mystery of the Lone Shoe—a story of intrigue, suspense, and misadventure.

Seriously, the story writes itself.

What unique or interesting items have you seen discarded along the side of the road? Tell me in the comments below.




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