Good Narrative Principles

Hammer Toes


She has bunions. He has hammer toes. They met at the local sexy orthopedic store. Each was eying a pair or ridiculously expensive Mephisto shoes that neither could afford, when their eyes locked. She had no way of knowing that it had taken him weeks to admit that his body was betraying him in the form of hammer toes and that he needed to do something about it. When he spoke to his Dad complaining that he was too young for hammer toes and a receding hair line, his Dad chuckled as if to say “you ain’t see nothing yet, kid”. But he was too kind to bring his son down any lower and instead suggested they spend the afternoon on the tennis courts. While he was on the tennis courts moving as little as possible, she was hobbling around the city with her college buddies. All strode forward with confidence and verve in four-inch heels sporting bright red soles.  By the time evening rolled around, she felt twice their age and insisted they stop for dinner and drinks and not move. Dancing and bar hoping were out of the question as was anything else involving her feet. The next day she gazed with longing at the flat comfy shoes with arch support in the window of the shoe store but still resisted stepping inside. Buying shoes this ugly, this practical, she reasoned, put her firmly on the treadmill of aging and death. But two weeks and four and half pounds heavier, she silenced the nagging voices and headed straight towards the practical shoe section. Later, over drinks and dinner, the two exchanged their darkest fears about the future that awaited them. Both felt for some reason a weight lifting. And then they kissed.

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