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Old 07-16-2005, 10:17 AM   #1 (permalink)
Insane
 
A story for the ages!

He had so much going for him, so much to live for. A prodigy, ever since a child, no concept was out of his grasp. Of course he was destined for great things. Through good parenting or good sense, it doesn’t really matter how, he liked helping people. He could have been a doctor or a comedian. Anything to make people smile, make them happy and whole. That was him. Like anyone though, he had his secrets. It wasn’t even anything really that terrible. Not at all really, but in his mind it had become something dark… something he harbored deep within himself. Never would he even contemplate dreaming of contemplating the act of telling someone about it. Surely he was a genius, maybe that’s why he was so eccentric on this one point. There’s nothing wrong with being a foot fetishist, but he hid it.

Marshaling all his talents, he created the perfect sandal. One that would both show off the toes, yet give support to the foot. Nothing too special in this really. But his genius went into the one real selling point… They were to be the treasure sought after only less than the fountain of youth. The untrippable sandal. Impossible for one to stub their toes. He had spent every last drop of his sanity to create them. Indeed, he had spent out every resource available to him. There was nothing left to his name except the sandals he now wore, walking down the hall to the board room where he would show them off. As long as he could sell this idea, these sandals, he would be made. And not just him, but the world at large could celebrate at having their feet saved from tripping.

Or more importantly to him, their precious toes from stubbing. Of course he tried to convince himself that he was doing a service to mankind. But in his heart of hearts he knew. He knew that all of his work, all of his life had been driven toward satisfying his personal demon. If his invention could just become popular, everyone would wear them. He would have visual access to the toes of the world, and better yet, they would all be in a pristine, unstubbed condition that only his sandals could provide the world. A part of his soul was torn. He feared he was betraying the world by squandering his gift on this project. But it was a fear he would ignore. With a shudder he would expunge it from his mind and forget he had thought it. Keeping his sanity required this self-delusion. He was helping the world.

He approached the board room. A long table filled with important people in important suits waited for him. He could see them through the windows. A sudden rush of apprehension surged through him. This was it. If he failed here, he would be ruined. He would be nothing more than a laughing stock. His credit, both intellectually and financially, would be ruined. But he calmed himself. This was he, after all. He could accomplish anything. And right now, he was going to sell his idea, his brainchild, his sandals.

The door was opened by an assistant. He walked into the room with confidence. He knew everyone in this room had already done the research on his product. They were all just waiting to see it in action. Well proof was at hand, and his time had now come.

With a bursting smile and the charisma of an angel, he proceeded to the front of the room. All eyes were on him. Already having begun his speech, he would come to the opening crescendo where he announced his creation. The room was filled with tension. He was electrifying. Ladies and gentlemen, he at last offered, I introduce to you my untrippable-

And then it happened. Perhaps it was a fluke. Perhaps it was fate. Perhaps some greater power was punishing him. In reality though, he was punishing himself.

All the darkness, the hidden guilt, everything he secretly loathed about himself had at this point boiled over. Everything he worked for came crashing down. His world literally turning sideways as he fell helplessly to the ground. The regret, the shame, the feeling of the floor slamming into his whole body was a dull pain. Hardly noticeable, really, compared to the searing sting he felt in his big toe.

The audience was in shock. Some sighed, some stifled laughter, some just look on in silence. How could he trip? They read the reports. They knew his reputation. All signs pointed to these sandals as the real deal. And besides, he was in the clear. In the open. There was nothing to trip on at all. It happened so fast. It seemed like he stubbed his toe onto something before reeling over, but what? Nothing was there.

In fact his sandals were impeccable. He knew they were. Sure, the suits would be fooled now, but he knew the truth. He was a genius, he poured his soul into this. The sandals had not failed him. Indeed it was only he and the torment which he suppressed that could have failed the sandals. Somehow his grief had manifested itself in the physical, at least in his mind. He had just experienced, in the most literal expression of the term, a guilt-trip. Nothing on this earth could have stumbled someone in those sandals, let alone stub a toe inside. Regardless though, he had defeated himself.

Lying on the floor, time seemed to slow to a crawl. He could see under the table now. So many pairs of shoes. All of them hid the feet. He knew he was ruined. Nobody would ever try to push these sandals again. He stared at all the toes that he would never see. And he realized it. This was all his fault. They would remain hidden, cloistered away from the view of the world. He couldn’t help but to admit that there was a certain poetry in the situation. Because he could not be honest with himself, his dream would be forever buried. Like toes in a boot, he was oppressed. And because of his self-duplicity, the world would still trip. It would still stub.

He closed his eyes then. A tear rolled down his face. He was only human.
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Old 07-16-2005, 01:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Location: on a branch about to break
i'm new to tilted lit. not too sure of ettiquette / practices here, so forgive me if i'm off base.

i love this line:
"Like toes in a boot, he was oppressed."

i think you could make his failure even greater.
maybe have the sandals get made, get super popluar, but he goes blind and can never see the toes by the millions that he brought about. mmmm, i dunno... then you miss out on the "guit trip" line - which is kinda funny.
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