I walk, feet bare to the sun, dust clinging to my cracked scaly heals. Thong (also known as a flipflop) clad feet, rubber soles, click clacking, gripping, rarely tripping, a thin barrier but not barring my feet from the jagged stone paths or hard concrete street.
I walk easily in these clumsy clod hopping, trip hazards. Smooth and un-wounded.
My old thongs battered and worn; torn and ripped by the grip of metallic bike peddles. They have lasted a while, walked a few miles and clung devotedly my dusty feet. Scuffed and ground by my cracked heals, lifted lightly by my toes and placed firmly and deliberately along varied paths by my dreamers mind as it sometimes glides but often stumbles in and out of adventure and the mundane ritual of a daily commute. Always the sureness of the ball of my foot directs the rubber sole. Senses never disengaged.
These old thongs have become attuned to my step. A decent thong is not just a combination of good materials or manufacture, actually a thong by definition rarely even possesses either of these qualities. A thong is usually constructed of the cheapest least reliable materials and I am dubious about the skill level of the cobblers who makes them. A good thong is a matter of fine tuning the senses and curing the substance. The thong and it’s wearer must meld to each other… bend and be changed until a symbiosis is established. To walk in thongs is more like walking in bare feet you have to read the ground, perceive the path before you lay your foot upon it. Know where the glass or prickles are that will easily pass through the flimsy foam surface that supports you. It is possible that the thongs durability is refined by the amount of compressing it endures before you expose it to really rough or sharp surfaces.
A good thong is sturdy enough for the average bush track and will carry me across scorching concrete or bitumen, but becomes imperceptible to the senses in most other ways. Allows me to feel the surface I am walking on but dulls it’s harshest assaults.
Sometimes I scuff the heels of my thongs when I’m dragging my feet… Sometimes my step is lazy and I bend the toe when I’m weary and don’t bother to lift my feet… Sometimes a thong can trip me when I’m lazy.
The old thongs fit to me like a skin, my feet and the rubber in time, sliding perfectly from one step to the next. Rising and falling as one… gripping any surface, delicately balanced from toes grip to the rise and fall of my heel.
Each step, every turn, the toe grips in sync with the ball of my foot, heal catches the rubber as they glide gracefully to the ground in union and the next step rises to find it’s place along the path.
The old ones stay sure. They rest neatly on the smooth peddles of my bike, they have been firmed by walking and resist the friction that causes a new thong to rip… But they need a smooth peddle. No thong seems to last on hard peddles. And so I have destroyed my old pair of thongs and replaced them with a new pair which I have to break in…
New thongs are stiff but tear easily… That’s all I have to say about thongs… Today.
2 thoughts on “Dusty foot shuffle”
Called Jandals for some reason across the Tasman. But then they call bushwalking tramping over there, and thongs have never been recommended for that
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I like jandals! I think I’ll call em that. The word thong has been sullied by too much American TV!
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