I dreamed last night that I was sent to prison. It was no ordinary prison, however. In the middle of an open-air mall there sat a very small, very dingy Payless shoe store with metal bars stretching across the storefront. I was escorted in along with another prisoner -- a tiny oldy lady who resembled something between a troll, a hobbit, and Kristen Chenoweth. The 10x20-foot space had cement floor and shelves of shoes from 2001, which were all covered in dust and dirt from the same era. Benches were crowded with people trying on sandals and tennies. As I shuffled past them, the little imp of a woman under my care, I took in my pitiful surroundings and watched as inmates tied up their Airwalk laces and walked out the door. "They can just leave?" I said, mostly to myself, as the little troll lady was most likely deaf. I quickly learned that all it took to escape these hellish confines was to find a pair of shoes that fit, and liked, and be on your way.
I wanted desperately to find a pair of shoes, but my hobbit-like friend needed help, and I felt obligated to aid her before seeking my own pair. She was no bigger than 4-feet-11-inches, with feet to match. But nothing seemed to fit her. And then, as if a light from the heavens beamed down through the cinderblocks, we saw a section of childrens shoes just two feet from where we stood. "This is it!" I exclaimed. "We're going to find your shoes and you'll be free and then so will I." But I quickly realized it wouldn't be so simple. She was a picky little devil, and nothing could satisfy her, although all the shoes were like Cinderella's glass slipper on her foot. One by one, she tried them on, discarding them each with a sniff and toss. I became more and more panicked at the thought of being stuck in that Payless prison. My panic turned to anger as I watched her impotence and arrogance and selfishness -- and then the words, whether they made sense or not, came pouring out. But without a sound. I could no longer vocalize my thoughts. I watched in helpless agony. "How dare she! Can't she see how many perfectly good pairs she's disregarding? Rejecting?! If only I could find a pair of black PF Fliers in my size, I'd be so happy."
I never saw that day. She continued to try on shoes as I slipped from dreams into reality. Somehow reality resembles the dream too much.