1. If you could style yourself what would you choose as the accoutrements?
2. A lady who lunches gets rammed into on the street by an upspeaking teenager yammering away on the phone. Keep in mind, you’re scuffed beyond repair in the process. The lady who lunches will of course keep it ultra classy on the outside but can you give us a taste of what she’s feeling on the inside?
Brought to you by DMX, the great poet known for the NSFW prose so filled with indignation they’ve been known to stir up mutiny even in the most peaceful of situations.
3. Is there something you wish to never discover?
4. If not you then what?
We’re happening and you can’t stop us.
5. What is your most recent depressing thought?
We exist in a society where we don’t think ourselves great until someone else whom society has already deemed great declares us so. Which leads me to this: how many great people will leave this earth going unnoticed because they never quite mastered the art of affable kiss ass and how much mediocrity will go on to take part in great things because they mastered the art of toeing the line while knowing the right people?
6. Who is the last person or thing in the world you would ever want to trade places with?
Of course the answer to that would be the inverse of myself, those steel toes that have come before me. I think it’s pretty ironic that the shoe most representative of brawn and strength lives in a state of shame. Cowards, all of them! Cowards, I say!
Et tu, wellies? Et tu?
7. If you don’t mind my saying, your tone was a little displeased when giving the answer. Is there something behind it?
Well, it wasn’t my plan to go there but it seems you’ve forced my hand.
8. Did I? Because you don’t have to go there if you don’t feel like going–
You did! Okay? You did, so consider this the start of me going there. I was here but now I’m about embark on a trip there, all because you couldn’t leave well-enough alone. Here’s the deal. Unlike my steel-toed predecessors I’m not afraid to expose what’s happening on the inside. Unashamed to reveal the inner workings. Strong enough to share who I am. Is it hard exposing yourself to a world that clearly prefers you to keep a durable metal cap hidden away? Of course. But then explain to me how I’m supposed to sleep at night, slumber with this booming voice of self-deprecation and contrition reverberating in my mind? And what kind of message would I be sending to those who will come after me? So you see, I must pave the way or else après moi, le déluge and it won’t be pretty. Luckily, I’m not alone in the good fight and if it requires all of us to take the first, crucial step in creating self-love and self-respect then we’ll do it and we’ll do so with fists in the air — if we had fists — and heads held high — if we had a heads.
9. Is there a certain pair of feet you didn’t mind encasing?
The pair belonging to the woman in the final stretch of preparing for dinner with an ex-boyfriend she hasn’t seen in two years. As she zips me up, she tells herself that she has no expectations for the evening, “Whatever happens happens. We’re both adults and if we somehow drift back to the good times then so be it. I’m over trying to control the outcome of my life and I’m now in it to simply live.” I should note that this is the female’s basic mantra for having great expectations for the evening but attempting to trick herself into thinking she has none. Not that I judge; quite the contrary. Upon coming face to face, she senses a spark, not to mention major excitement and joy on his part. In turn, she hasn’t felt this attractive and wanted in a very long time. The thought that she might be misdiagnosing his behavior is ephemeral. Unfortunately, I wish the sensation had stuck around a little longer for I’m the only one to hear the death knell. The ex waits for the amuse-bouche to arrive before telling her he’s getting married and his soon to be wife is pregnant. She realizes in this moment that he looks happier than she’s ever seen him look. She knows it’s no put-on and he is truly happy. She feels a prickly pear expanding in her throat. A paralyzed sensation overtakes the corners of her mouth. The rims of her eyes heat up, start to pulse. Thankfully, the gods are on her side and the tears never make it to the surface. For all he knows she’s fine with it. She’s more than fine, she’s actually happy for him. At least those are the words spilling from her mouth. They stand in front of the restaurant and say their goodbyes followed by an anemic hug and a sterile pat on the back, so to make sure there’s no confusion or gesture misunderstood. Their final parting words will forever be a mystery because when she comes to she’s walking, staring down at the sidewalk braced for the moment the entire ground falls away. Part of her is actually hoping it will. She stops. Looks to her feet. Tears drip onto me and stream down the sides. She takes a deep breath and thinks, “How does one ever move beyond this moment?” It feels as though she’ll be trapped here forever. The woman looks up. Swipes away the tears. She glances to her left to find an itamae watching her from inside his establishment. She realizes she barely touched her food at dinner. She glances up at the red neon sign that reads CLOSED. Suddenly, OPEN outlined in blue neon. She looks back to the itamae. He smiles. Unlocks the door. She enters and maneuvers through the labyrinth of tables – chairs stacked atop create menacing shadows on the wall. The itamae pulls out a stool, inviting her to take a seat at the bar and settle in for the traditional omakase. The sharpening of the knife against the whetstone somehow lets her know it will all be okay.