Driving I-95 North. T.G.I.F. (Almost)


5:29 a.m.
Cruising down I-95.
Left lane open as far as the eye can see.
David Sanborn is blowing his Sax with The Dream.
Waze estimates 21 minutes to the office.
I put Sanborn on repeat. Wish I could play the Sax. Or have the talent to play any damn thing.
I arrive 2 minutes early.
Building is quiet but for the shuffling of the Security Guards an hour from a shift change.
Floor is silent but for the buzz of the overhead lights.
I get settled.
And get after the backlog of emails.
No phone calls. No meetings. No interruptions.
I glance at my watch, 90 minutes. Wow. And, Mailbox Zero achieved.
I lean back in my chair. Close my eyes.
It’s going to be a good day. No, it’s going to be a Great Day!
I stand up to stretch.
Take a few steps around my office. Something is off.
Take a few more steps. There’s an imbalance here.
I look down, and the buckle on my right shoe has detached and is flopping from side to side.

I check my calendar to see how many meetings I have outside of my office. Too many.

I walk to meetings. I’m lopsided. Clasp is banging from one side to the other. I can feel their eyes on my shoes.

I walk back to my office. Like a horse training for dressage, foot up, pause, trying to avoid the swinging of the buckle. This can’t go on much longer.

I see a gap in my calendar for lunch.  I can drive to Nordstrom’s and back and make an exchange.

I race over.

“How can we help you Sir?”

I point to the buckle on my shoe. Explain that I just bought these shoes. Explain that for what I paid for them, I expected the buckle to stay adhered for at least 3-6 months. She chuckles. “Let’s see if we can take care of this for you.”

“What size is that shoe, Sir?”  I take it off, confirm shoe size. She scans her computer. Frowns.  “Let me go check in the back.”

5 minutes later she comes out, “I’m sorry Sir, but we don’t have that size in stock.”

“Would you mind if we ordered a new pair for you and then sent them to your home?”

“Sure. How would that work?”

“Well, you would buy this 2nd pair, we’ll send them to your home, and then you can return those shoes you have on for a refund at a later date.”

“Hmmmmm.  So I have to come back?”

“Yes, Sir.”

“Hmmmmm. OK.  Let’s do it.”

She checks back on the computer. She checks again. She punches more numbers into the computer.  Flushed, she says: “Sir, I’m very sorry. Your size is out of stock with no estimated date for when it would be filled.”

I smile. “Right-o.”

She smiles back.

“So, any ideas as far as what I do now?”

“Would you like to find another pair of shoes?”

“No, I’m sorry. I don’t have enough time.”

She calls her manager. Can’t find her.

It’s now 12:43, and I have a meeting at 1 pm. I scan my emails, they are piling up. Mailbox Zero no more.

“Hi. I need to get back to work. Here’s what I suggest.”

I lean down, take the left shoe off and then the right. And place them gently on the counter.

“How about a refund for the shoes now so I don’t have to come back?”

“But what are you going to have on your feet.”

“I’ll take care of that.”

“Sir, are you sure?” There are three clients standing behind me, growing impatient.

“I’m sure.”

She processes the refund. I turn in the opposite direction from the pack behind me and walk through the store. I can feel their eyes bearing down on my back. Suit. Shirt. Tie. No shoes! Bank Executive extraordinaire! Keep your head down you Idiot.

I scurry down the escalator in my stocking feet, hoping they don’t snag in the gearing and suck me in.

I walk across the concrete in the parking garage, cursing as I can’t seem to find my car.  Wow, you’re rattled.

I unlock the car door, sit, inhale deeply and then exhale.  I grab my phone, and call my Assistant. “Hi.  I’ll be working from home the rest of the day.”

“Everything OK?”

“Oh, everything’s just great.”

I exit the store, move into the right lane, the slow lane, and cruise home at the speed limit. Can’t be pulled over shoeless.

“Hi. You’re home early.”


“Where’s your shoes?”

“Don’t get me started. Don’t even start.”


Inspired by: “How fragile we are, between the few good moments.” by Jane Hirshfield, from “Vinegar and Oil” in Come, Thief


  1. This is very fragile, DK! Very fragile…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Linda Arzoumanian says:

    That’s great/

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Only you!


  4. Kevin Byrnes says:

    Well played

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You did the right thing!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. My day seems so trivial after reading about yours! Sorry about the shoes. 👞👟👞 Thanks for making me laugh Mr K 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This is fucking hilarious! You ought to do standup! In your stockinged feet, of course. 😂

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Thank you, David. This brought a much-needed smile to my slightly weary face on this grey and misty Friday (in Devon, England). Blessings my friend. Julian

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Well played, my friend…

    Liked by 1 person

  10. So totally unexpected! And fun, and you, Dave, out of control….. cannot imagine that happening! 😉
    What worries me: What happened to all your afternoon meetings? Are you in such high standing that you can cancel all of them because you are shoeless?
    Thanks for the giggle….

    Liked by 1 person

  11. to funny but so relatable

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Smiling through your pain. I am. However, the ending is different than I guessed. I figured you had a pair of sports shoes (once called sneakers) in your car and by wearing them for the meeting and the rest of the day, you changed the atmosphere in the office. No more dress shoes for ANYone, Then you take a week off to check out the timeshare you read about in Tahiti. Next post: your new life off the 95 and on the Tahitian beach. As a bartender. A shoeless bartender.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Confidence, taken to stellar levels.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Didn’t see this one coming, pal. Thought sure you would have a back-up pair in the car. Me, I *never* pass up the opportunity to buy a new pair of 👠..doesn’t matter how much or how little time I have at my disposal. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Like everyone else, I did NOT expect that ending. Not even close. I was sure Mr. Organized would have an extra pair in his car… then again, if you had, why would you have driven to Nordstroms in the first place? So then, I would have thought you’d simply buy a new pair of shoes and be a tad late for your first appointment.
    What do you do? None of that, no siree… You have got a set of cojones on you, that’s for shizzle! Walking in your socks to your car to drive home; meetings to be shifted to phone from home!
    Love this.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Had to laugh at the visual of walking back to your office after meetings like a horse training for dressage…foot up, pause. High steppin it! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Haha — guess that’s a way to handle the situation, David. Better you win than the shoes. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Christie says:

    Jane Hirshfield, I knew I’d heard her name before…as I put her name in your search bar…I read this share only, now…How in the world did I miss this classic 🙂 /// back in the day when life was so different…


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