Grandmother and shoes

I have a pair of plastic slippers, bought two years before going abroad, and worn for five years after going abroad. Its shape is very ordinary, just like the most common style you can see everywhere on the streets of Taipei: flat bottom, light blue, the front end is hollowed out into six round bands, and a knot is used to connect them. When I bought it, I liked its color. After five or six years, it has changed from light blue to light gray, and the sole is also worn high and low. Several times, there are nosy or kind girls advising me: “Arong, your pair of slippers is too old.” Or: “Arong, you should change your slippers!”

I always smile and replied: “I can wear it, I like it very much.”

If my answer comes in a very disapproving expression, I will try to change a topic. If the other party will shake my head in good faith, or smile, I can’t help but tell her: “Do you know why I can’t bear to throw it away?”

This is a memory that makes life very gentle in an instant. When I graduated from college, there were fewer classes. I lived in Beitoushan. In the morning without classes, I often used two puppies to run around. On the days of the sun, the beauty on the mountainside of Dagu is simply indescribable. Sometimes I can go on and go for an hour or two. What makes me most happy is to suddenly look back while walking, and then carefully identify which one below the hillside is my home.

Walking, my new slippers are not decent. However, I don’t have time to manage it. My afternoon is full, not useful. After going home at night, I took a shower and went to sleep. Until one evening, coming home from school, across the low stone wall, I saw my slippers being neatly placed on the concrete road in the garden. With the arrogance that I just broke up with my classmates, I shouted loudly outside the low wall: “Where are you, dare to move your own slippers?”

There is no movement in the garden. Looking in the direction of the living room, Grandma is sitting behind the screen door, shaking the fan and watching me laugh. At that time, my grandmother lived in Yonghe and rarely came up the mountain. But if you come, you will always live for a day or two, and we will pamper us for a while and then go. That evening, she said to me with such a smile: “This afternoon, I used your watering pipe to wash your slippers. Just put it in the sun and dry it. How convenient! How big a girl, Wearing such dirty shoes gives a joke.”

In the future, whenever the grandmother goes up the mountain, she will always wash the slippers for me, dry it, and sometimes even put it in front of the bed. Then in the evening, she would sit peacefully in the living room, shaking her fan and waiting for us to come back. I often feel a warm and comfortable feeling when I put on my slippers. I don’t know if it is the afternoon sun in the courtyard, or the temperature of the grandmother?

It is because I can’t bear this temperature. After the news of my grandmother’s death, all the things that can make me commemorate her old man: for example, the ring that was given to me on the eve of the trip, the small cotton quilt that I bought for the material, all in the tearful eyes. The land is closed. This pair of slippers has always been around, and I am reluctant to lose. Every time I touched its gray surface, it seemed to touch the warm and wrinkled hands of the grandmother who had washed it, and then remembered the path in the garden in the sunset, and the smile of the grandmother behind the screen door of the living room. . So far away, so gentle, and so sure to go back.