Prose: A Heels Man

His battered Timberland steel-toes lain
on the carpet by his plaster spattered
jeans rolled up his stubble laden
calves, past his knees, so he could see
the pointed black three-inch heels
full on in the mirror.

Co-workers, grown women
skitter past the aisle
with their hands to their mouth
in awkward mirth
as the short lean man;
nervous, shaky voice:
states he’s won contests
that require participants to
stand for hours in high heels.

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This was an experience I had while living in a smaller town. I’ve conversed with customers having similar interests working in Toledo and found they were regulars and there was no awkwardness with other co-workers concerning their preferred shoe selection. Nothing against smaller towns. There are pros and cons. I remember being embarrassed, at this moment, because my co-workers (very nice people) were being unprofessional. I grew up in Toledo, OH, granted not a city like Chicago or New York City, but residents acquire a certain amount of anonymity as well as “live and let live” acceptance. There is a wide variety of people in Toledo that are active and “open” with their preferred lifestyle.
I always cherish conversations with people. They like to tell their stories and I listen attentively. As a writer/poet I stash them away for future pillaging. I guess you could say that we barter. I’m listening with compassion and sympathy; they receive my ears for a time and I receive potential writing material.