117. How to Choose Which Shoes to Wear in the Apocalypse

Photo by Philippe Jausions on Unsplash

My wardrobe, floordrobe, was supposed to be a curated collection of neutral basics plus a smattering of thrifty vintage pieces mixed with designer splurges. There was that pair of leather strappy sandals bought in Greece that I could never wear for more than half an hour before they rubbed my feet raw to ribbons. After every hangover, I vowed to give up my late nights. I was going to reinvent myself and spend my Sundays outdoors, just as soon as I’d broken in the hiking boots that pinched so much that I lost all feeling in my toes. I knew they were supposed to be tight but once they’d moulded to my feet, they would be the most comfortable footwear in the world. I thought I looked the business in those silver leather brogues until I saw three other women wearing the same shoes at the same event as me. Embarrassing wasn’t the word.

I know now to never buy this year’s colour in a leather handbag. It’s a waste of money because it only lasts one season and I’d have to keep it for 12-15 years before I could use it again. Chain store coats are also a mistake unless I wanted to look like everyone else.

Marie said to put all of my clothes onto the bed so I knew what I’d got. Passers-by could see right into this basement flat, but I didn’t care. They also didn’t seem bothered because it was still raining, so they were hurrying by, just wanting to get where they were going. 

I was down to my bra and knickers, trying on everything I owned, chucking my clothes into piles –  keep, bin, donate, sell – whilst dancing around to an 80s pop mix. Between songs I could hear a burglar alarm wailing like an old-fashioned air raid signal so I just cranked up the music a bit louder to drown it out. Then someone startled me by banging on my window and shouting “get out!”. I quickly put on a pair of comfy cord jeans and an old baggy t shirt and ran to the front door to yell right back at them. Before I could open it, I heard water trickling down the steps and saw it creeping under the door towards me. For a moment, I stood there, watching my slippers get soaked.

“This is the police helicopter. The river has breached its bank. You are in imminent danger. Please evacuate your property immediately and make your way to higher ground.”

In less than thirty seconds, I was out of there. I grabbed my phone, purse, glasses, a pair of trainers, socks, knickers, a jumper, that book I was reading and (weirdly) a pillow. I put on the first coat I saw hanging up and snatched another. Then, swinging a black bin bag containing all my worldly goods, I pelted up the street, splashing through the ankle high water in my sodden slippers, as if I had seen the last bus coming.

Photo by Gabriele Diwald on Unsplash

11 thoughts on “117. How to Choose Which Shoes to Wear in the Apocalypse

  1. Tubularsock was a little concerned when Tubularsock found your story all soggy-wet in the street.

    At first Tubularsock took it as a sign and packed three suitcases but then reread your very well written incredible story and decided to throw away everything in the three suitcases so if for some reason your story was a sign, then Tubularsock would have less to carry in an emergency.

    Tubularsock thanks you so much for such a fun and helpful tale.

    Tubularsock loves your work.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m concerned – is this fact or fiction? If it is fiction you wove a truly believable story. If it is fact, I’m sad that the flood Konmari’ed your wardrobe and shoe collection. I’ve weeded out all the awful shoes except for the ball room dancing shoes. You never know when someone will get married and you’ll have to get up and dance…

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Ah, what a relief. It’s not only me then. I do exactly the same and my shoerobe is full of nearly new shoes and new shoes still in their boxes. My problem is that I take a size 2½ (36?) and when I see a pair in this size I just have to buy them as they come along but rarely. But I’ve never been caught in a flood, or a fire, or come to think of it anything really serious enough to attract a police helicopter. If it should happen they would find me in woolley socks, maybe some too large Crocs (they start at a 4) and totally unprepared for the apocolypse. Thanks for your advice – I shall heed this.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I trust you are safe, the clothing piled on your bed didn’t matter, and you have a place to rest your pillow. All I’ve had to deal with is smoke, but day after day I wear my former running gear (kept even though I can’t run) and only socks on my feet. I walk only to get outdoors since there is nothing to walk to. Even my post office where my mail comes is 6 miles away, but Ihave not driven anywhere in weeks (months?) because my husband drives.

    We dealt with flooding once in 1984. Once was enough.

    Wishing you well.

    Liked by 1 person

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