after reading in a report of the slaying of Matthew Shepard that the murderer used Shepard’s own shoelaces to tie his feet to the fence where he was left to die For at least three weeks, I could not bring myself to tie my own shoes. So I wore Birkenstocks, which chafed my feet. I did not complain. A friend of mine expresses her joy over having kids as often as I think about you, Matthew. In other words: a bit too habitually although she means well. As I do. This is not what I should wonder: why did they take the time to remove your shoes? Did the clean-up workers (and are there even such people) rip the laces in one bold stroke or did someone take the time to unlace them as carefully as you would a Christmas present? I am in a childless relationship with a man who has infinite patience for my temper tantrums and overall bratty ways. Once he met my friend and arm- wrestled her children. He did not let them win. I loved him for that. Later he shared our private dream: basking in the happiness of tying your son’s shoes on the first day of school, knowing that he will march into the world safe and protected by a gesture you always take for granted.
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