So, I just turned my boots over, banged them together and held them out a moment. You didn’t fall out. In fact, you were nowhere to be seen, and neither were any of your relatives. I haven’t seen a bug in months, but I still want to thank you for staying out of my boots. That was kind of you. I mean, it would have been quite an effort for you to appear in my footwear today, so I suppose you must not have been too put out by this whole thing, but still I want to thank you. I like my boots way better when you stay out of them.
This was also true when I lived in Arizona, and when I lived in Nevada, and when I lived in Southern California. When I lived in Chicago, you didn’t seem a likely guest, but checking for you was also a way to check on the roaches. So, it was just as well that you weren’t there either. I checked every time I put on my shoes.
I first started thinking about you when I was little. Mom told me that she found you in my shoe. Or maybe it was one of your relatives, a great uncle perhaps? She wasn’t entirely sure, because you might have been a vinegaroon. That’s what she said anyway. I always wondered about the name of that bug. Do you know him? Well anyway, it was either you or him that Mom found in my shoe. …or a distant ancestor to one of you I suppose. She seemed quite excited about the whole thing. This may seem judgemental, but she really didn’t think any of you guys belonged in my shoe, and she was particularly concerned that you in particular should stay out of there. So, she wanted me to check and see if you had dropped by whenever I put stuff on my feet.
Actually, I’m not sure I would have been happier to meet a vinegaroon in my shoe either. No offense intended, but I just don’t think any of you guys need to be making a home in my footwear. On that score, Mom and I have always agreed. That’s why she urged me always to check and evict you if necessary. I have to admit I wasn’t always diligent about this protocol, but an unhappy encounter with a beetle was enough to get me on board with Mom’s plans. Don’t worry, the beetle is fine, or at least she was when she crawled off and away from me as I tried to calm down all the hair then standing on the back of my head. I mean, Mom had been talking about you so much at the time, so when I met the beetle, for just a moment I really thought you had dropped in to pay me a visit after all. Ever since then, I have been looking for you pretty much everywhere I go, or at least when I put stuff on my feet.
Honestly, I’m not sure I can remember having ever found you in my footwear, so I suppose I should be thankful that you have respected my wishes and those of my mother all these years. Looking for you has become quite a ritual. I bang my shoes together before putting them on my feet in the hopes of finding you no matter where I am, or even if I already know you aren’t there. I simply cannot do otherwise.
I don’t wish to appear ungrateful. It’s just that I’ve been living at the top of Alaska for six years now and it’s twenty below outside, and I still found myself checking to see if you had dropped in. Despite never having really met, you do seem to have left quite an impression on me. I think about you a lot, really I do. I can’t even seem to put a shoe on without looking for you.
Hugs and kisses,