The Red Shoes

Firehouse red, they are. Or, better known to some, “fuck-me” red. They’re shiny, too, but too cute to be called slutty. Given their modest heels,  I’d describe them as flirty. They’re downright irresistible and in excellent condition.

I bought them for $10 at a hospice thrift shop.

A hospice thrift shop? you ask, thinking, My God. Not only does she buy used shoes, but dead people’s used shoes.

Well, I’m not ashamed of either. Okay, maybe a little about them being used. But the dead part, not one bit.

Look. It’s not like I waited by the woman’s deathbed and wrenched the shoes off her feet as she took her last breath. Or that she fought for them, leaving claw-marks down the sides. Nor had I read the obituaries every day, hoping that a woman with a closet full of Ann Kleins, Jimmy Choos or Guccis — and was a confirmed size 7 — had dropped dead.

If that was my modus operendi, I’d be prying opal rings off of bony fingers and diamond earrings off of dry, shriveled ears.

I would never go that far.


Say what you will. In the final analysis, if the dead woman had known me, she’d have wanted me to have those shoes. I know this as surely as I do that macaroni and cheese and Nutella won’t bring back my waistline.

I am the woman who, in better economic times, passed an obscene number of hours in shoe sections of every major department store (and Marshall’s Super-Shoe Outlets) from here to Idaho. (I live in New Jersey.) Who matched her clothing to her shoes, rather than the other way around. Whose computer screen-saver is a close-up of her cherished blue butterfly mules (purchased online four minutes after she learned she owed $1,300 in taxes).

I am also the woman who has developed Achille’s tendonitis and is warned by her podiatrist not to wear high heels or flats.

This effectively retires 98.3% of my adorable shoe collection. It’s a barbed swizzle stick through my heart, causing anguish on par with that of my parking trials.

You know what I think?

I think if the dead woman had known me, she’d have left me all of her shoes, and a couple of scarves to boot.

Insomnia: An Email To My Guy Friend | The Duck Man

Insomnia: An Email To My Guy Friend

Posted January 27th, 2014 by June O'Hara and filed in Everything Else

Hey Brad,

It’s the middle of the night and I’m wide awake. I should go clean out the fridge or twist myself into some yoga poses, but I’m emailing you instead.

How goes the search for Vivian’s birthday present? I think a handbag is better than hockey tickets, if you ever want to have sex again. You just need to choose the right one. It should be attractive, but organizationally sound. Roomy, but with special pockets for lip gloss and tampons. I suggest you start at Macy’s, then move on to Bloomingdale’s. From there you’ll want to hit Liz Claiborne, Ann Taylor, Nine West, Loehmann’s, Neiman Marcus and DSW.

I know it sounds like a lot, but trust me, you’ll be fine.



Strike that. You’ll be chum.

Give me some dates and I’ll go with you.

I went to the dentist this morning. “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” was on the TV. You know how I know nothing about everything? Well, the planets must have been aligned just so, because I knew one answer after another. This, with my mouth clamped open, suction apparatus under my tongue, and cold water spraying my face. I begged God to let me shout the answers, but he turned a deaf ear.

I know life isn’t fair, but this struck me as extreme.

I think I’m going to watch TV now. There are a few episodes of “Mystery Diagnosis” I haven’t seen. Last week a guy had a tumor in his eardrum. It was really cool.

Let me know when you want to shop for purses.



The Mystery Of The Blue Ass | The Red Shoes

The Mystery Of The Blue Ass

Posted January 5th, 2014 by June O'Hara and filed in Embarrassments

I’m loathe to admit it, but the heat in my office occasionally gives rise to a generously proportioned zit on my ass. It’s usually nestled between the cheeks, hidden from view unless one goes looking. More often than not, I give my boyfriend a heads up. I’d rather warn him than contend with his expression of shock should he happen to stumble upon it.

Last week in the shower I noticed a large blue mark on my ass. It wasn’t biologically based, an errant vein or unnoticed bruise. Its hue was closer to neon spandex or a form of chemical waste. It was also water resistant.

Whatever its origin, it had no business on my ass.

“What could this be?” I asked Jake.

“Huh? What could what be?”

The mark was in a difficult spot to view. Risking spinal cord injury, I leaned over, twisted to the right, and yanked at my flesh. Twist, pull. Twist, pull. “Right there,” I said. “Can you see it?”

“Wow,” Jake said. “That’s one hell of a zit.”

“Great,” I sighed. “Fucking great.”

I stood up, took a deep breath. Everyone gets an ass zit every now and then, I told myself. Even Nicole Kidman.

Soothed by the image of Nicole Kidman with an ass boil, I repositioned myself under a stronger lamp. “Here,” I said, pointing to the offending area. “”Look. It’s right here.”

“Oh yeah,” Jake said. “Now I see it.”

“What the hell is it?”

“Huh.” Jake scratched his head. “I don’t know.”  Then, “Have you worn anything bright lately? Anything that might have bled?”

Naturally, I’d examined every blue to periwinkle object in my apartment as if on CSI. Nothing compared to the shade of my ass tattoo.

“No,” I said. “Not even close.”

Clearly, the answer wasn’t going to present itself just then. Jake and I shrugged, turned on the TV and went to bed.

This morning I flopped down on the couch with my coffee. I looked once, then again. There it was on the cushion: the residue of a blue M&M. I suddenly recalled falling asleep there while eating candy two nights prior.

Apparently, a blue M&M has made its way to my ass.

Apparently, I’d rolled around on it.

I do not relish the confession that I molested an M&M in my sleep. Any more than I do shaving one leg and forgetting the other, plugging an extension cord into itself or wondering where the hell I parked. And yet. . .

I manage to make them all happen.

The Password | Insomnia: An Email To My Guy Friend