It starts with a tingle, a tantalizing nibble at the ends of my thoughts, but I squash it down because I have so much to do and so many people who need me to do it. As much as I long to immerse myself in the sensation and let it consume me, now is not the time. I go back to the task at hand; writing, cleaning, cooking, working, but the tingle still nibbles and if I’m not careful, I find myself immersed in thoughts that pull me away from what I should be doing.
I write priority lists to keep me on task and attack each item one at a time. I take great pride in crossing items off once I’ve completed them. Each line is another delineation of strength and fortitude. I’ve ignored the tingle. I’ve overcome the pull and I’ve succeeded in staying on my chosen path. Years can go by, and while I can feel the hum coursing through my veins, I use it to energize me, to set goals and reach for them, and to overcome hurdles that would once have stood in my way. There’s a perverse pride in knowing I used this energy to succeed without ever giving in to the temptation.
But sometimes, the temptation is too much and I cave. When no one is home, I lock all the doors and dig through my closet until I find the box. The box itself is pristine, beautiful. When I slide the lid off, the scent wafts up to me and my toes curl in anticipation. I lift back the tissue paper, open up each satin pouch, and there lie the most beautiful pair of red satin stilettos I’ve ever seen.
I lift them out of the box, careful to touch only the sole of the shoe. I’m not willing to take a chance with the satin perfection. The heels stand five inches high, impractical and perhaps dangerous, but it only increases their allure. Holding them this close, it’s impossible not to want to slide my feet into them. I rush to the bathroom and fill the tub. I soak and scrub making sure any evidence of my everyday life is washed away. Heading back to my closet, each step is measured. The decision is at hand and it takes just one glance to know I’m putting them on.
My foot slides along the finish, cool to the touch, silky smoothness envelops my foot. Whether I put the shoes on last week, last month, or last year, every time I slide them on, I’m transformed. If I had wings, they’d unfurl, stretching outward, upward, lifting me. I’m beautiful in my red shoes and everything is possible.
Even though I may be wearing cut-off sweat pants, when I stand in front of my mirror, I see an elegant gown. I twist one way and the other and I envision my name in lights, the title of the movie based off my best selling novel behind me, and cameras flashing. This is one stop on a tour of many. Fans call out my name, asking me to sign a copy of my book, and I never have to worry about being “good enough” again.
As I strut across the room in my stilettos, I’m disembarking from my private jet. My tour guide is discussing points of interest to include while balmy breezes ruffle my skirt. Attention is drawn to my long legs as I hold down my skirt and I can’t help sneaking a peek at my gorgeous shoes. A waiting limo whisks me off to lunch. My mouth waters as it comes in contact with exotic, foreign smells, and I long to taste one of everything. Freedom and confidence course through my veins encouraging me to try whatever I want.
Sometimes when I slide on my red satin stilettos, I’m still me, but I’m the me who’s capable of doing anything. I’m the me working on that book. I’m the me confident enough to take an exotic vacation on her own and venture off into uncharted territory. These times course through me with an energy I can barely contain. I think of how I can accomplish these feats and still maintain my life. I devise complicated plans for carpools and activity busses. I schedule meals and calculate how long it would take to cook and freeze them all so my family would have what they needed in my absence. I pace through the house, careful of every step, until my feet ache and the possibilities of my red satin stilettos are for now, no longer feasible.
I venture back to my closet and slip them off, careful to wrap each one in its satin bag, nestle them back in the box, and cover them with tissue paper again. I slide the lid on the box encapsulating the smell of longing and satin and place it back into its hiding space in my closet. An urge to kiss the top of the box, to seal it, to hold the dreams inside, consumes me and I slip it out a bit to confirm its importance and its possibilities.
I dress for the day, putting on my gym shoes, knowing they won’t impact me quite like the special shoes I have tucked away in their box. Yet, I know these shoes well. They may not feel like satin, but they’re comfortable and reliable and I can count on them to take me where I need to go. I pull out my list and see what I need to accomplish next. Each line is a delineation of strength. Each line an accomplishment. Each line a reminder of red satin stilettos.
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