Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Kensington Morning

Monday, December 3rd, 2007.

On Monday morning I went on a wander through Kensington Market. It was slow and quiet at 9am, nearly abandoned. I guess that part of town wakes up a little later. Perhaps it was the cool weather, but things had a quality of crispness about them that I appreciated.

I passed by a fellow who smiled at me and commented on the quietness, wondering when stores would open. "Why aren't you drinking any coffee?" he asked. I tried to explain that I don't generally care for coffee, but I guess I didn't do such a good job, because he told me, "I could invite you." I declined gracefully (I think) and with a smile.

A few moments later I came across these abandoned shoes. They were lying between the fish market and another storefront, just like this, as if they'd been kicked off or dropped, and then forgotten.

There's always something strange to me about seeing shoes abandoned like this. I also sometimes come across socks or underwear on the street, and they evoke a similar feeling. It all seems a little eerie or puzzling. Unlike some items, I imagine it would take some effort to loose a pair of shoes, some extenuating circumstances, and I would think that their absence would be known immediately. Even more disturbing is when I find a single shoe abandoned somewhere. I both wonder about and avoid the stories such objects might tell.

Perhaps it's strange that I associate lost or abandoned shoes with danger. I have no idea where that comes from in me, and I haven't conducted any informal surveys to see if other people share such a reaction. It is, of course, just as much of a possibility that there is an entirely happy, or neutral, or fascinating story that explains this lost pair of shoes on a cold and icy, coffee-free, city sidewalk morning.

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