I arrived in Italy wanting nothing.
The beginning of 2013 had taken it out of me to the point where I was entirely numb.
But I left Italy with everything. If “everything” is a good pair of shoes and the affections of a man worthy of everything but one who is happy for the tiny part of yourself that you feel willing and comfortable giving him for the time being. To me, those things felt like everything. Or just what I needed at the moment en route to feeling whole again.
I wasn’t shopping for shoes. I never do. I don’t look for shoes. Shoes find me. An unmarked store off of Via Veneto boasted beautiful, label free shoes at very agreeable prices. After standing with my nose in the window, (as I had done previously at Max Mara and Hermès) I finally went in to just try on a single pair of sensible ankle boots. The boots were of course terribly perfect but I was still punishing myself. (For what? Everything. It’s what I do when I am sad.)
I left in a hurry before I could pull out my wallet and allow myself to feel the refreshing breeze of satisfaction that only a new purchase can bring. After all, happiness wasn’t allowed.
I got halfway down the street with my sister and my mother before I realized I couldn’t go on this way forever. I quickly turned on my heels and shouted “I’ll be right back!”
When I arrived at the store for the second time, the very wise sales assistant had bagged up my shoes and placed them on the counter smiling at me expectantly.
“I knew you’d be back. We have the best shoes on the street. And …”, she smiled happily.
“… you have good taste.”
Damn those Italians are good!