Last Year's Shoes



"And so she spent her third sleepless night in a row, this one in a bed the size of a tennis lawn, with a parade of pillows, a smell of lilac and a view down a tranquil moonlit avenue, all the while rehearsing what she would say, how she would explain herself, her family history, her nobility of purpose and the sanctity of her love for Frank and her children and Taliesin too. How she'd been wronged. Misrepresented at every turn by a vindictive and possibly even mentally unstable woman. How everything that was pure had been willfully controverted so that good appeared evil and love was demeaned and envy elevated and all the rest. She made unarticulated speeches all night long, the words throbbing in her head till they wouldn't stop and her eyes wouldn't close and the light came hammering through the windows and she was still murmuring to herself through the breakfast she took alone in her room and her toilet and the long lingering sequence of combing out her hair, selecting a single strand of jet beads and dressing herself in an almost austere gown and shoes that were solid and respectable, last year's shoes, shoes that would verify and underpin everything she had to say. She would right the record. She would defend herself. Make use of every high-flown phrase and stirring sentiment she could muster. She was nothing low. She was high, higher than any of them." (138)


Boyle, T.C. The Women. London: Bloomsbury, 2010.

The tribulation of The Other Woman.

Photo credit: Scuffed but sturdy; last decade's model. From Greatest Friend's Etsy shop.