Sunday, December 2, 2007


Friday November 30, 2007

I picked up Finn's boots from his house on Thursday. Weeks before, when I was first starting to convince people to lend me their footwear, I had talked to Finn, and he was completely willing to participate. We decided we would trade shoes for a day, because these were the only shoes he had. He showed me how he could slide along the wooden floor of his hallway in his Blundstones, and compared them with mine, which didn't have much in the way of a slide factor, due to a more rubbery heel. My boots were also much bigger, due to the fact that Finn is 8 years old, and has eight year old feet, much smaller than my 26 year old ones.

As it turns out, in the time that has past since those hallway floor experiments, Finn has a new pair of winter boots, and his Blundstones have been sitting in the hallway as he runs around outside and shovels baseball diamonds and makes snowpeople. In fact, when I was over on Thursday, Finn came in with impossibly hot cheeks from all the exertion required to shovel the huge ball diamond across the street. I don't know why he set about this task, but he did a great job.

So yes, I borrowed Finn's boots. They are dark brown chisel-toed Blundstones, with soles that are well worn. I believe they are hand me downs. And again, they are terrific for sliding on smooth floors.

Due to the discrepency in size between my feet and Finn's shoes, I didn't wear them the entire day. I wore them instead for about 30 minutes on Friday.
It was an interesting day.

In the morning, I felt as if I really just needed to hide from the world and go back to bed. I think that all the busy-ness of the past week(s) had caught up to me, and I was facing some sort of end of term exhaustion. I did, however, do most of the things I had intended to to in the day. Just a little more sleepily than usual.

I put Finn's shoes on just after I had lunch. I wore them around the house as I tidied a few things, put on some beans to cook, and had a quick nap. They were very small on my feet--my toes were all curled up in the end of them, and I couldn't use my whole foot as I usually do when I walk. I kind of walked around awkwardly flat-footed and clumsy. My feet looked and felt so strange to me in such small shoes that are so similar to my own pair of shoes. At about 1:10pm I took of Finn's boots and headed off into the world for an appointment, and to meet up with a friend.

At about 5:15pm, just as I was getting ready to head home, I had an awful thought. I realized that I couldn't remember whether or not I had turned off the stove (where I had set the beans to cook), and that there was a very real possibility that I had forgotten to. Yikes.

On the walk home I was hoping that our house wasn't burning down, and that I would be the first one home so that no one else had to deal with smoking beans. Fortunately, our house was still standing. Unfortunately, I was not the first one home. I saw the light on in the kitchen, and could see that it wasn't filled with smoke, which I took to be a good sign. When I opened the door, however, I smelt a horrible awful burning smell, and instantly began saying, "oh my goodness" and "I'm sorry" and also a few curses, over and over and over.

When I came into the kitchen, Ben was standing there smiling. He said,"um...I think it's done." It was actually beyond done. The beans had actually turned to ashes. Ashes! And Ben was so good natured about it all. He said that he knows how hard I am on myself, and that he doesn't have to say anything to convince me of what an awful awful thing it is to leave the stove on unattended, or how I should never ever ever do such a thing again.

He's right.

What's funny is that I was expecting a reaction that my mom or dad might have, which would involve a lot of yelling, and a lot of convincing me of what a horrible thing I'd done. All very unnecessary, because as Ben had said, I know all too well what a bad plan it all had been. It's just interesting how ready I was to cower and beg forgiveness and feel horrible about myself. Kind of like I did when I was 3 or 8 or 18.

(Me checking on the ill-fated beans. What a scenario. Please don't tell my mother about this.)

Our house still smells pretty awful, and all Friday night I was haunted by the smell--it stayed so strongly on my hands from all the scrubbing I had done.

The pot is clean, but I still hesitate to use it. I cooked some more beans yesterday, with no disastrous or unseemly consequences. On Friday Ben said with excitement in his voice, "Aislinn, you should see what I just did!" I turned and asked him what it was. "I turned off the stove!" he said. So he had.

Finn's boots are good for sliding and doing just about anything, really...if you're eight years old. I was sorry that I couldn't be in them for longer, although for the short time I was in them, I managed to be utterly forgetful. I was thinking about how funny it is that I ended up doing some eight year old type cooking as I was wearing eight year old shoes. Although, Finn is awfully bright, and I have a feeling that he, unlike I, would have remembered to turn off the stove. Oh my.