Sunday, October 16, 2011

F train Shoes

The F was running as a C train last night, and by 11:30, it was infrequent.  When a train finally rolled into 14th St., it was packed.  Just down the car, a slip of a girl -  stick-thin, maybe 13 or so? - nestled up to an older man I hoped was her father.  She had long, dark blonde hair that fell straight to her shoulders, a short micro-mini of some ultra clingy fabric, and a sweatshirt top embroidered with the word "Dreaming". He was fair, with a crumpled, tired face, and a crumpled shirt & pants.  Maybe early forties. Both looked sad, and they spoke so softly I couldn't really hear them, but I just had this feeling they were Russian.  As the train got to Brooklyn, her head dropped to his shoulder, and he patted her hair. She looked like she was about to cry.
She was only a child, and the clothes were were all wrong for her age.  Compounding the hooker look of the barely-there skirt, and what made her outfit so remarkable, was the shoes she wore:  six inch wedges, metallic gold tipped at the toes in black.  They covered her feet all the way up to the ankles, and the golden part was like scales, or feathers even.  It looked like she had wings on her feet.  They were Firebird shoes.  They made me think of Brighton Beach in the winter, and the bookstore there with the model of the Snow Queen in the window.  They were, at the same time, the sluttiest and most magical shoes possible.  They were quite beautiful.
Oh how I wanted to photograph those shoes.  I thought about a quick snap as I left the train, but the two of them, sitting there in silence, were so tragic and self-contained, I didn't have the nerve to break in on them.  I looked at the shoes intently, trying to press their image into my mind so I could draw them when I got home.  It would be too sad to lose them.


Marty Wombacher said...

You didn't need the photo, this story captures the moment beautifully. Sometimes it's better to imagine. Great writing.

Laura Goggin Photography said...

Wonderful imagery - better than a photo!