Monday, November 07, 2005

After certain employment-related ... activities, I wandered Brookline for a while. The New England Institue of Art provided a couple of hours entertainment.

the following events took place and were recorded between the hours of 5:30PM and 6:30PM

5:35PM: On my way home I wind through Copley Square, where amusement can often be found.

Today is no exception.

5:43PM: The first thing I notice is the shoes. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of shoes, neatly arrayed in lines and lines of pairs. Even the fountain has been emptied out to fit them all in.

Each pair has a tag attached. Some have ages, some have only names. The names all have one thing in common: they are all Iraqi.

Across the square there is another set, this one exact in number: 2054 pairs of US Army* boots, representing the obvious (if you're reading this in the distant future, I'm talking about the US/Iraq War that began the 21st Century ;D ).

5:50PM: Candles held in coffee cups gather, held by freezing hands. A first thought springs to mind:

they died for their country. the least you can do is catch a cold

In any case, I can't help but be (vaguely) attracted to the girl reading the litany of names (Oh. Did I not mention that?). Her voice is blank as a slate:

"Halil Ramzi. Age 12."

and pretty for all that. Dark blonde hair, red jacket, black shawl, blacker legs, blackest shoes. Her pretty comes out when she smiles.

Second thought occurs: bulls**t. bush isn't here so what's the freaking point?

" ...brahim. Age unknown."

age unknown, age unknown ...

5:59PM: Homeless man shows his approval of the exhibit. I take his cue and stride into the field of boots. Most of the boots have flowers next to them but one particular pair catches my eye. On closer inspection, it turns out to be transparent. Contains a shirt (Native American, looks like) and a card. Card reads:

Mother of 2. Left 7 to fight for her native country. God bless her spirit & country.

6:10PM: Idle thought strikes: so, do landmine victims get one shoe or do they get a pair like their more thoroughly annihilated brethren?

6:20PM: The microphone battery dies. Some older guy asks what size it is. I note he doesn't ask anyone in particular. I take matters into my own hands. Turns out they're packing up anyway so my little good deed will just have to happen in a theoretical otherwhere. Most guests drift away. I linger, among the boots.

6:28PM: Painfully old lady, sweater barely whiter than her hair, asks me if I intend to publish this. I look at her and think of the faceless digital mob. I answer:

i'll try.

She seems pleased.

*they may or may not be authentic US Army boots and may or may not belong to the dead. I'm assuming they do.


The exhibit disappears at 2PM tomorrow incidentally. I wonder how many of those shoes will be stolen by then.

What? This is fall-going-on-winter.


Blogger TheUltimateCyn said...

wow... that had to be quite the experience.

10:05 AM  
Blogger razorsmile said...

Yup. I just sort of stumbled onto it. Fun and mildly enlightening.

*looks pleased*

9:48 AM  

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