Monday, February 09, 2009

Saturday, February 07, 2009

feeling real

Mr. Bows was a quiet, lonely man who feared contact with people. People frightened him. He never knew what to say. He was always so afraid of saying the wrong thing that he simply chose not to speak at all. He avoided making eye contact on his travels back and forth to work and once there he planted himself in his cubicle where he avoided interaction with his co-workers.

Every day, weather permitting, he took his bag lunch and sat on the same bench in the park by the river. One day a small child came and sat on the bench next to him. His heart was racing and he tried not to look at her but she pulled on his sleeve.

“Are you a stranger?” she asked

“Yes!” he said paralyzed with fear.

“Do you have a gun?” she asked.

“My heavens NO! Do YOU?”

“No.” she said, “But I have a shoe lace. Do you want it?”

Mr. Bow had taken to removing his shoe laces as he often tripped on them.

“But why would you give it to me?”

“Because you need it.” She said.

“But I don’t need it; the shoe works fine without the lace.”

“No it doesn’t,” she said, “your foot slips out and the shoe just slaps the ground.”

“That’s true.” he smiled.

“AND!” she continued, “without the lace the shoe can’t talk. See how the tongue just hangs there?”

“But a shoe can’t talk.” He said confused.

“Everything with a tongue can talk if it feels real.”

“But how can it feel real if it can’t feel at all?” he questioned.

“But it can feel if you let it. If you take the lace and tie it, it will feel your foot touching its sole.”

“And what would the shoe say?” he asked this child that was touching his soul.

“The shoe would say that without the foot it feels cold and empty but when the foot is inside it feels warm and safe, so…”

“So…” he prompted.

“So the shoe loves the foot.”

“Oh, I see,” he said, “but I don’t know how to tie my shoes.”

“That’s OK.” she said, “I’ll teach you.”

And so she taught him and Mr. Bow came to understand the odd nature of love and realized for the first time in his life that if you tie something close enough to your soul it will make it warm enough to feel real.