Pumps and Power Rangers

People are like Power Rangers. This isn’t a wild idea, I promise; in fact, it’s pretty simple. I don’t mean people are superheroes, because in that case I would have picked another metaphor. I’m talking about the ending, when the Rangers morph into that giant, super post-Voltron robot thing. It’s made of varying parts, varying personalities. So am I. So is everybody. Giant robots make up the world.

It starts with the notion that people can change. What I realized, not long ago, is that people don’t really just change. They collect new pieces, enhancements. They morph. Mighty morph, whatever, they’re different because they’ve added to themselves. Nothing’s really changed except in the additions; the base person and personality are still there floundering or twiddling thumbs.

I’ve morphed; I started clean, tainted only by death and usual familial struggles (but we’ve all been through those at some point). Then you want things. You want to be the straight-A student, the thrill-seeker, sometimes the bitch. You want to be attractive, but charming. You strive for innocence, maybe. You strive for naughty. It doesn’t matter. But you add facets to your person, new personalities you try on like shoes. It seems easy. It seems confusing. You add and add and add.

And lately, I’ve tried on shoes that didn’t fit: pumps with heels too high, flats with uncomfortable points, sandals, too loud when they slap the floor. But it’s important to acknowledge when they don’t fit. If you don’t: you lose your base, you lose your footing, you lose you.

And that’s just plain awful.

A poem from undergraduate workshop that deals with shoes:

My Mother’s High Heels
by Alexa L., written November 3, 2008 

Mother wore her high heels out to dinner,
the night I wore my sandals, so I could
feel the breeze between my toes and wonder
how my mom could feel nothing
but beginnings of blisters and nights
with Captain Morgan manning his ship, built
from broken liquor bottles and words said
in drunken malice. Clean the damn kitchen. 

I would scrub the floor while she would scrub
her blisters raw until they bled, and she
could watch the red trickle into the tub.
It hurt, but not as much as the heels would,
when lovers shoved them off her feet some nights.

The heels she wore those nights were red
like the blister-blood lipstick that stained the corners
of her mouth; it didn’t matter what shade.

What color were her clothes? I couldn’t see.
They were always on the floor beneath hills
of comforter and sheets.

The heels would watch
mother’s nakedness and wish they were
cleaning the kitchen with her daughter

in place of pirate captains and their crew,
water that was never clean enough to be
dirtied, and the horrible smell of feet.

Until one night I was left alone, my mom passed out,
one man unsatisfied. He stared me down and shook his head,
upset I didn’t look like my mother.

Note: Poem is both fictional (in case readers were concerned), and slightly depressing (which I’m aware of). But I just watched the first episode of Dexter Season 5, so it seemed mildly appropriate.

Also note: I’m feeling much better. I think I’m all bronchitised out.

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