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Down One

Missing

Missing

I lost a sandal. Presence only highlights the missing.

Someone called them Jesus sandals and the name has stuck. This was second pair, black, meant to compliment my original brown pair bought back in some Texas year at a Fort Worth art walk downtown. They do have a peasant ugliness to them, but they’re reasonably comfortable, especially when it’s very hot. Long lived and well made, the family that makes them stamps an 800 number in the sole and handwrites the serial number.

Going over was an exercise in cramming and struggling under weight. Coming back I gave clothes with the worst holes to Goodwill and realized I could strap shoes underneath my pack, giving me considerable more room inside bags. I was too ambitious, strapping both a pair of athletic shoes and these sandals down. It took me a day to realize one was gone.

It’s not in my friend’s car or in her basement apartment. Hawaiian baggage at Seatac doesn’t have it. I filled out a form with the Port of Seattle. Is it worth contacting the Hilo and Honolulu airports? How many men’s left sandals do they come across?

I don’t know where it is. They were new-ish, stiff when walking, but half a loss is a full loss. The athletic shoes which never fit well and now fit even less well after having been washed made it through fine. The guidebook told of people leaving their shoes behind lest they take back some miniscule particle of lava rock, earning Pele’s anger. I thought of leaving the shoes but didn’t want to buy one more thing. If Pele was angry, she took the thing that counted.

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