The Art of Darkness

There’s a Short Story in Here Somewhere

October 16th, 2012 by Cobwebs

Shoe ConsultantBoingBoing recently posted a vintage photo captioned, “E. Horton Kinsman, Shoe Consultant” and invited readers to comment about their fictional “experiences” with Mr. Kinsman in the comments. The whole thread is a fun read, but this one, by Halloween_Jack, is worth noting in particular:

You think that he’s just a bespectacled nerd with a made-up profession, but that’s only on the surface. E. Horton Kinsman knows things that would drive you people mad if you even caught a glimpse. E. Horton Kinsman has gazed into the abyss and calmly said, “You’re definitely a 10 1/2 narrow.”

You think that you know about the cruel shoes, but only E. Horton and his peers (of which there are damn few, mister, and fewer each year) know that all shoes are cruel. Your feet yearn to be free, to run across an endless prairie and grip the smaller branches of a tree, but you imprison them in mean little hard-bottomed foot corsets; you torture them in Procrustean devices, deliver the inquisition in the form of your Manolo Blahniks and Jimmy Choos. E. Horton will sell you those infernal agonizers with a smirk, but only if you put your feet in his hands and trust completely will he put your feet in a confinement which will truly set you free.

And he knows about foot fetishes, does our serene E. Horton. He’s seen countless sultry dames saunter in with their stockings with the seams up the back, seen how they lift up one leg as he kneels before them and dare him to look with their eyes, not knowing that he’s seen it all and done it twice, three times on Sunday, always with his socks on. Same with the dudes who come in and complain that their cowboy boots aren’t breaking in properly, their upper lips trembling under their Marlboro Man mustaches. He’s broken in more cowboys and cowgirls than he can count, plus bikers in their black leather and cops in their SWAT boots and librarians in their sensible shoes. Dominatrices come in in their thigh-highs expecting to take charge, and come out subdued and thoughtful. Priests and nuns and ministers of every faith end up giving confessions instead of taking them. Dorothy took off her ruby slippers for him, once.

Ingrown toenails and bunions and plantar warts and fungus of every type and severity, including some possibly not of this world. People with two toes on each foot and people with seven toes and once–just once–a pair of cloven hooves. He shod the Elephant Man out of his in-store stock. He gave Nancy Sinatra the Boots That Were Made For Walkin’. He set up Carl Perkins with blue suede shoes, and Elvis Costello with red.

The E. stands for Eldritch. You think you know what that means, but you don’t.

If they made a movie out of this guy’s life, I would watch the hell out of it.

Posted in Funny Peculiar | 5 Comments »

5 Responses

  1. Kaitlin Michelle Says:

    That is brilliant. I too would watch that movie.

  2. pensive Says:

    a thousand times yes.

  3. Sisifo Says:

    Best. Comment. Ever.
    The End

  4. WitchArachne Says:

    This is amazing. I want to find this guy and pay him to narrate my life.

  5. xJane Says:

    all shoes are cruel

    Truth.

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