The elevator opens with a “ding” the second I press the button.
Looking over my shoulder, I check my reflection in the hallway mirror, pick at a wild strand of hair and step into the elevator.
All without looking down.
“Good morning,” I say, adjusting the bag on my shoulder and fixing my eyes on a section of wall appropriate for riding the elevator with other passengers.
The man says nothing and then is gone without a trace.
I feel the woman’s gaze as we wait — in what I think is perfectly normal elevator etiquette — for the door to close behind him.
She speaks as we begin to move to the next floor.
“Uh, I just have to make a comment —”
I give her a smile and a look that says “go right ahead.”
“Are you aware that you have —
And it’s here that I begin to feel there’s something ‘off’ about me — is it my shirt? Did I forget to button it? A stain? No — my pants? Oh god, is my zipper gaping open? What? —
“— two different shoes on?”
I’d sooner believed her if she said my hair was on fire, so sure I am that this is just not the case. But then —
My mind races back to the last thing I did before I walked out the door —
The shelves of shoes right by the front door. A glass of milk, a footwear choice —
Grab a pair with the left hand and plunk on the floor while draining the glass and staring into space. Pick up my keys. Step into the shoes —
Without looking down —
My god, could they be any different?
One is a flaming orange and white Car Shoe. The other, a Stuart Weitzman tortoise patent.
At 8 a.m. I can hardly say “it was dark” —
And “I meant to do that” is too offbeat — even for me.
So I laugh and tell her thank you for her polite comment —
And she leaves while I ponder —
Getting this day off on the right feet.