The Red Shoes — prelude to a tornado
My red patent leather pumps were selected to accompany my travel dress for the ‘Writer in Residence expedition’ maiden voyage, destination Kansas. I wasn’t thinking Ruby Slippers via The Wizard of Oz. Yet I did wear them as I stepped foot into a veritable tornado.
Travel dress first
Whenever I travel, I select a travel dress for the passenger trip upon which I embark. I prefer a dress for comfort and for my femininity. A dress is comfortable in walking and stepping over things like luggage that blocks aisles, and passengers’ legs should I have a window seat. ‘Tis also comfort to my femininity; I dress to who I am. I embrace my femininity, and a dress is a subtle way to express it.
I told my beau about this as the ‘Writer in Residence’ departure date drew near. “What type of travel dress do you see me wearing?” I asked.
He paused to consider and replied, “I see you in a polka dot skirt, like a poodle skirt.”
I smiled big. “I happen to have one.”
“I knew you would,” he said.
My darling knows me, I thought. He did. This was added proof how deeply. I did have a polka dot skirt like he described. Then I remembered I also had a polka dot dress with a circle skirt and crinoline underneath. Thanks to my beau’s inspiration, I now knew what would be the travel dress to wear en route to Kansas.
The red shoes
The morning of the day I was to board the train, I trusted my beau with deciding shoes to accompany the dress. I showed black patent leather low-heel Mary Janes, or the red patent leather pumps.
“The red ones,” he said sans hesitation. The red ones ’twere. They were sturdy to walk in and dance in; I’d tested this
And they made me feel pretty, along with the dress, as I slipped them on. I felt pretty as my darling flagged a cab for us both to take ourselves and my massive luggage to Union Station.
I could hurry in these sturdy shoes, pulling luggage trolleys as my beau pulled the largest luggage. Pretty, red, shiny and comfortable. These shoes carried me as I rushed, my beau by my side, to catch the Southwest Chief before it left the station.
The impending tornado
These were the shoes I wore as I kissed my darling adieu, and stepped onto the train, breathless, blushing and anticipatory. I did not know that cyclone winds formed as the Southwest Chief whisked me to this adventure.
I did not know that ’twas my last kiss to my beau. Nor did I fully comprehend the colorful adventures that awaited me, along with the earthy Kansas prairie.
I landed here to take on the experiences, and felt like I landed on a cloud. I did. That cloud shortly was caught in crosswinds. Beautiful per their power, and overwhelming at times.
My darling broke up with me shortly after I landed in Kansas. I didn’t anticipate it; with it, a tornado lifted me, carried me a mile or two in its twisting winds, and crashed me back to the ground hard. In Kansas. Here to meet dreamers and romantics, doers, and supporters of my exploring their state.
All along, among the challenges and the strongholds, remained the red shoes. I may still slip them on and feel so much myself, and they remain sturdy.