Memory Maps


My favourite shoes are not my favourite because of how they look. They are not my favourite because they are particularly comfortable – they’re not. They are not my favourite because someone special gave them to me. They are my favourite because of the steps they’ve taken with me, the remembering embedded within the soles of leather.

The scratch on the toe where I tripped on a huge boulder and face-planted on a slab of granite while climbing beachside rocks in the Croajingalong National Park.

A small burn mark still on the bottom of the left heal where I mistakenly stubbed out a cheeky cigarette many moons ago. Every now and then I look at young girls smoking cigarettes and in a flash, before I can conjure my appropriate disapproval I’m jolted by a tiny spark of envy, just below the sternum. The spark makes it’s way out of my body through the small site on the bottom of my heel.

One of the laces has a crude knot tying two frayed ends together, somewhere near the third loop of the right sandal. I just found them like that one day. I don’t know how it happened. (Or do I not remember?)

These sandals map my memory, and my lapsed memory.

I think I gave them to a Salvation Army store, or maybe (and more likely) I quietly slotted them into the rubbish bin one day, thinking that they would leave me. They’ve stayed quietly, with their memories.


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