Saturday, May 1, 2010

Safe Shoes

What is it about shoes – any kind of shoes (flip flips included) that make you feel safe at times

 When I have experienced bugs or mice around me, as I did last night, somehow having shoes on makes me feel much safer.  In the past, I have worn one set of flip flops, and used another single flip flop to attack my intruder – if I have indeed mustered enough courage to take that step of action.  Last night, however, was a huge dilemma for me.  You see, I only brought one pair of flip flops on this trip.  The mouse I encountered was in the dining hall area and ran under our table at dinner and then around the room a few times.

But it wasn’t for the mouse that I was considering using my flip flop as a weapon.  It was later, in my room, in the bathroom that I found company with a large cockroach.  Not the first cockroach I’ve encountered, but still, I wouldn’t consider myself an expert on living with such animals.  I watched it for a while, as I typically do when faced with these uncertain situations.  I analyzed the direction and pattern of movement.  I then took one flip flop off my foot to try and squash it because I feared I wouldn’t sleep well knowing it was crawling around near to me.

However, as soon as I removed my flip flop, I felt all of the sudden more afraid of the little bug.  It was like my foot was un-shielded, un-armored, un-protected, and very vulnerable.  As if the skinny straps on my flip flop would actually have guarded me from anything.  But still.  So, there I was.  I had a weapon to attack (the flip flop I had taken off my foot), but I had no covering at all, at least for my right foot.

After much consideration of what to do, I finally remembered that in my past experience, these creatures do amazingly disappear when morning comes, and if I could convince myself that it would not crawl into bed with me in the middle of the night, than perhaps I could possibly fall asleep even if it was still alive and wandering around.  So, that is what I did.  Of course, waking in the middle of the night to use the bathroom was an adventure, but…at least I had my feet covered :)

And, sure enough…this morning?  No cockroach in sight.  Amazing what a little light can do.

And yet, I know that once a cockroach has appeared -- even if it disappears in the morning -- unless or until it has been destroyed, it will return.  So…as I consult with story teams today, in the back of my mind will be the knowledge that when the sun goes down, it will only be a short time before the cockroach returns.  At which time- the question will be - will I succeed once again at convincing myself  to ‘live and let live’ – or will my flip flop transform from its role as a piece of armor, to become a piece of weaponry? 

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