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Saturday, July 20, 2002


I just didn't want to put shoes on today and walked quite a ways without shoes on. It was nice. I even went in a couple stores, Target and Borders, and the Tucson Mall barefoot. It was so nice to feel the carpets and smooth floors. I noticed how different kinds of stone floors feel, from the slick, polished marble (granite?) to the well worn marble which felt like cream. It was nearly ten when I got to the mall and I already had to put on my sandals to cross the expanse of asphalt in the parking lot. The parking lot is a long walk barefoot when it starts heating up. It was interesting how much cooler the concrete sidewalks were than the asphalt, except for some smooth, red concrete that patterned one stretch of sidewalk, which was hot. Was it just the darker color? Or the smoothness that meant I touched more of the surface.

One problem in Tucson is that so much of the landscaping is desert landscaping. Much of this is absolutely beautiful but too many people think this means throwing some gravel in front of their home. With the monsoons we've been having the small gravel washes over the sidewalk and it hurts my feet. There weren't many people out but as I passed a convenience store a couple guys came out and held the door thinking that I would go in, then one noticed my feet and said "Oh, no shoes! No shirt?" then he grinned. A homeless guy sitting on a bus bench asked where my shoes were and then said he knew where I could get some. I thought that was kind of sweet.

Barefoot in Summer -

Cool concrete against my feet.
A detour into soft grass.
Surprised by hard gravel
Knowledge not transmitted through soles.
Lessons of hardness and smoothness.
Of softness and texture.

My feet unprotected feel.
Sensations travel to my mind.
Sensual, painful, hot, cooling.
Each step a new surprise.
Too many surprises at first.
Shoes have numbed my soles.

I finished reading "The Bluest Blood" by Gillian Roberts. School teacher Amanda Pepper gets in the middle of a group of book burners protesting the books at her school, especially when a grant was given to the school to buy books considered morally depraved by the Moral Ecologists, as they called themselves. On the other side was a rich, eccentric, globe trotting couple who loved old and beautiful books and things. She gets involved because both of them have children at her school and more involved when a murder occurs. It was a good book but a bit contrived.

Rachel Aschmann 2002.
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