I rescued them from a terrible fate. Who else was going to do it? The quarter was in my pocket anyway; what good is a quarter? I knew someone had loved them, once. Maybe someone would love them again. God knows, I already did, but we just weren’t a fit.
For a quarter, I was willing to give them the chance to find that fit. I had the perfect place to give them that.
Or so I thought. They hung out there for months. I presented them as well as I could. Their best side. Their best position. I even considered giving them my old Bufalo fringed jacket to show off with, but decided it was beneath them. I wanted them to speak for themselves. And the Bufalo was in need of serious Love; it made them look used up.
I gave them a little bio telling about their origins, their age, at least the parts I knew. They looked pretty good sitting there. I figured someone walking by might fall in love. It had happened to me that way once. So I set them up front and center, but still in sight of security cameras in case anyone got any ideas. I didn’t want them to get snatched. The person capable of that would not have good intentions. It wasn’t that I had so much invested in them [a quarter, remember], but they deserved better than a thief. And truthfully, I’m trying to make a living.
Every day that I saw them, they were the same as I’d left them, except for the few times I found them tossed rather ruthlessly on their sides. Someone feeling them up, because they could, rejecting them for some cheap piece of skin down the way. Split leather pigskin, no doubt. Who knew the difference anymore? Not many who came here, looking for whatever might make them look good for as cheaply as possible.
They weren’t cheap, not by those standards. I know you can buy something with a similar look [if you don’t look close] for nearly half the price they languished for. And the only reason I said I’d let them be had for what I did is because there was nothing new about them. They would be perfect for that girl that asked how to make Frye boots look like the ones the starlets wore with their little boho dresses. The “vintage” look. You know, like they’d seen the backs of a few motorcycles and dirt roads.
The heels weren’t walked over but one sole had the beginnings of a hole. A bad enough scratch cut across that one’s toe. And they were creased from calf to ankle. They were a little beat up. They look like the slightly neglected children of my own perfect pair of Frye Ladies Campus boots, circa late 70’s to 80’s. The same 15” shank, same labels, same classic round toe and triple stitching. With this particular height and heel style, my pair would fetch three hundred dollars to the right buyer. They’re in perfect condition. I’d asked fifty for these russet colored babies.
Surely they’re worth it? I knew they were. I’d done my research.
The problem with assigning worth to previously owned objects is this: how much something’s worth is dependant on the Right Seller connecting with the Right Buyer, at the Right Moment. Sure, they’re worth fifty. They’re worth sixty or seventy, or more. But will the person they’re worth that to, find them? Apparently not a lot of Frye boot lovers were ambling around where I left them.
I’d been considering exposing them to a larger market, served up in pictures to whoever might happen to see. Boot porn, some people always look.
Well, the thing is, I’ve just learned that, well, it’s over. They’re gone. Someone coughed up that fifty and took them home. And I’m torn. I’m elated, because I knew they were worth it. I knew someone would have to have them. At the same time, I feel strange about it. I don’t know who bought them. I wasn’t there when it happened, and no one remembers. They could be anywhere by now. It was my mission—get them back in circulation and their rightful purpose. They were headed for the dump, you know.
But I can’t help wondering who bought them. I can only hope she loves them. Why else would she have spent the money?
I wonder if I’d recognize them in a crowd? Would they speak to me? Would their new owner speak to me, my own feet in boots like hers? Would there be a special vibration set off when they chanced to near me again? I’m pretty sure I’d recognize them.
One thing I know, whoever’s wearing them has got small feet. Size 7B. I can see her slipping them on as I did my own, saying “Oh yeaaaah, these are my boots.” She probably wore them out of the store. I hope she put them on her nightstand at bedtime, so she could see them first thing in the morning. I hope she gloats over them like I did mine. That’s who I hope bought them, someone who they called out to. “Hey, over here! We’ve been waiting for you!”
I guess my work is done. Now I can only hope. Here’s to you, Small Frye’s. I hope she treats you well.