The dense sponge of the toe separators would, I think, only have compressed a little from the recoil pressure of my toes trying to regroup. This could be due to the separators being designed for the, by and large, smaller feet of a woman. The contrasting temperature of my thick sock/trainer birthed feet, and the air conditioned cooled surface of the toe separators, made for a pleasant sensation. It reminded me of opening the window of a warm car in winter. I wondered how long it would take for my toes and the separators to reach a harmonious climate. Like hot fudge cake and ice cream slowly merging, agreeing only towards the end.
I was glad that the nail technician had no qualms about giving me a pedicure, I mean, of course she wouldn’t have, but she seemed to have such little reaction to the prospect, that it rendered the loaded chamber of humorous reasoning’s I had lined up seem ostentatious. Which made me admire her.
I hadn’t anticipated the dentist like polishing tool. It made the procedure feel somewhat more like an operation, now holding a new kind of importance. I expected little more than a decorative varnish being applied, though now my toes were being crafted in some way. I gradually realised over the duration of her work that this was the most attention my feet had ever received. Aside from being measured on one of them apparatuses in a shoe shop as a child, this was the only time I remembered them being touched by a stranger, even then I had socks on.
Thin slices of soon to be stale boule made for the base, quickly toasted on both slides, ready for a mound of chopped cherry tomatoes with black pepper and a mixture of Brie and applewood cheddar on top. Once in the grill, the cheeses melted down to toast level, trapping the tomatoes to the surface as hoped. Hand in tea towel, I grabbed and pulled at the baking tray, ensuring not to hold it for to long. To avoid scalding my hand on the oily cheese, I took the large knife I had used to chop the tomatoes and slid it under the toast, ready for the anxious balancing act that is transporting it safely onto the plate. The cheese had spilled over, slightly sticking to the tin foil below, with my left hand holding down the foil, I began an attempt to pry the two separate.
A sudden change of cognition, all possible thought had evaporated instantaneously, wrenched out of a morning autopilot hazed, but without time to acknowledge it. The knuckle of my ring finger had made contact with the grill-heated surface of the tray; a reflex drove my wrist upwards, trailing my hand, trailing the knife, a wave motion, akin to the technique for getting the optimum crack sound from a whip. This sent the toast that was pretty well balanced at the base of the knife, sliding down to towards the point. A heightened sense of awareness increased as the initial pain of my singed knuckle began to ease. The toast stayed central, as if on a track, as it slid down the narrowing knife. The underside of the toast grazed along the knifepoint until the crust, which hooked onto it for as briefer moment as you would have hooking your foot on a kerb whilst tripping up it. The toast was airborne. Due to the top-heavy mountain of cheese, the toast flipped over, the cheese clinging to the surface acted like a gyro. My awareness of the toast being flung off the point of the knife made me automatically begin to bring the knife down. The toast made two full flips before beginning to land back on the flat surface of the knife, I began to compress in my knees in order for a safe landing, still only half unaware of what was happening. In the flow of compression, I began to bring the knife towards the plate laid on the worktop. Though there would have been a moment in which the direction of the knife balanced toast was neither up nor down, the seamless flow made it indefinable. I place it genteelly down on the china plate and exhaled.
Perfume genius was the act playing, due to a neck injury the previous night; I was sat watching the gig horizontally on a red leather sofa, only to be interrupted when a punter required a drink. Due to my position, the dappled light from the stage danced through a sea of people’s legs. I found entertainment in this, letting my vision blur through a conscious unfocusing of my gaze, occasionally to blinded by sharp rays of colour. The dance of light changed pace as more or less people stood in front and watched, some stationary, some moving about. I had no particular interest in watching the gig so was more than content distracting myself.
Towards the end of the gig, when most people had spread, I got a quick glimpse at one of the customer’s footwear. It was one of the boots that are predominately worn by cyber Goths, usually in black, as this one was, with an 8-inch block of rubber sole. I became instantly irritated by it. Though seemingly alternative, which I would be more inclined to liking over a typical brand name shoe, I thought to myself how stupid they were. Having a thick heavy breezeblock attached to the bottom of your foot could be nothing but impractical. The extension of height gained could surely not be worth the adaptation the rest of your body would have to endure, let alone the potential of misjudging a kerb and breaking your ankle. I studied it for a while in my head, thinking of the array of fashionable decisions people deem necessary though it may be of complete inconvenience. I felt smug to think of myself not to be a victim to any of these things. Everything I choose to wear follows a form follows function ethos, aesthetic decisions being very much secondary after comfort. Mostly second hand from friends, or from a charity shop, logos to be cut off or duck taped over, which can come in handy when riding the night bus home and being confronted with a glaring white spot light, a quick peel and stick can make for a pleasant mood lit journey.
My game of blurry eyed dancey light ended as the music stopped and the lights came up, as the crowd dispersed I searched to have another cynical gawk at the silly footwear. I found myself confronted with a practical solution to a clubfoot, the other shoe being of normal trainer appearance. I felt a depression in my mood and wondered how many times an error in judgement can result in a tandem of egotistical thought.
I feel I have come to some kind of resolution for where this online residence has gone and will continually go. I have grown up through the evolution of the internet. I remember being at school around 13 when the teacher, who’s name I forget but I remember my class mate saying he looked like snoop dog, asking the class to raise their hand if they had a home computer, I remember most of the class putting their hands up, a few would no doubt be lying as to not seem like the odd ones out, the others I imagine because they a) didn’t have the guts to lie and b) didn’t have smarts to lie to get out of being bullied for not having one. I choose not to lie, being fully aware of the ramifications, welcoming them to some degree. I wanted it to be apparent to the teacher that I thought his question was insensitive. To ask a class of early teenagers if their family owned a computer would be a painfully obvious indication of their financial situation. When he caught my glare, noticing my arm was firmly down he retracted with something along the lines of ‘ah your parents are smart, they are waiting for them to get cheaper’ then quickly proceeded to carry on with whatever spiel he had intended to follow his thoughtless question. I thought to myself ‘why would they want a computer?’
I first came into contact with one at my granddads house, I remember him having some rudimentary version of ‘paint’ I drew a man in mid-air with his arms out by his sides, I then used the what would have been some kind of shape making tool to give the illusion that he was skipping. A static image animated using the tools of the program itself. Later I would use my friend alex’s computer to download music off LimeWire, then burn the tracks onto cd. Shortly after that still at just 13 we would go to our friend Laurens house and use rotten.com, exposing me to the most gruesome and brutal images on the internet I’ve seen to date.
Our house eventually got a computer when I was around 14. I was predominately using MSN messenger and MySpace. I mostly used msn late at night (as to not interfere with the accessibility of the home telephone) to speak with friends, though occasionally with random people I had been advised to add as there was a chance they would get their breasts out on webcam. MySpace was a place to demonstrate who you were. This began with editing various bits of html to change backgrounds, cursors ect. This was the first real contact I had with crafting an image of myself on the internet. The paradoxes presented with creating an honest account of yourself hadn’t been considered, it was a space to peacock. Now older, my need to gain the same kind of gratification has diminished massively, thought is still present. The issue is vast, with no concrete solution, abstaining from it all I have dabbled in, I wonder how immersed my tendencies to project an image of myself have got, and whether they are rewritable.
You need to stamp your foot hard down onto the floor, with the very tip of your shoe catching approximately half of the bottle cap, from the quick pressure the cap folds onto its self an is projected upwards.
As a skateboarder I find activities like this present themselves quite often. You may be taking a break from the session, or waiting for someone to film a trick, affording yourself time to master completely useless skills. Flicking a cigarette into your mouth. Projecting bottle caps through the air using your thumb. Rolling coins round your fingers. Making pennies disappear. Spinning pencils around. Juggling. Flipping a bottle of water one rotation so it lands upright on the ground. The list goes on.
The bottle cap flip is one I never mastered, mainly due to the fact that you have to stamp down so hard that it makes a loud slap noise. I may well have been in an area with just friends but repeatedly stamping on the floor to try and learn the right technique would annoy myself let alone other people. I found time to practice it whilst a metal band was playing in the music venue I work in, earplugs in and any possible noise drowned by a fast paced kick drum. After maybe 100 attempts I did my first one, I was astonished at how when you get it in the sweet spot it projects straight upwards. I have since got it to a consistency of around 1 out of 5, which, given that it is quite an advance useless skill is quite impressive. When performed casually, 1 or 2 failed attempts doesn’t detract from its impressiveness. My observations –
1 - Your foot needs to come down completely flat, it might feel like you need to tilt your toe forward to catch the edge but you need to resist this temptation and trust the technique. You need to make sure your foot comes straight down with edging forward or coming backwards. I would say about 60% maximum stamp power.
2 - You need to ensure your toe edge catches as close to half the bottle caps surface area as possible, this will take some practice but the accuracy improves over time.
3 - It’s pretty much impossible to feel but the cap will edge very slightly forward from the pressure of the stamp.
4 - The fling that projects the cap upwards happens in a split second as the cap is forced out, its ridges rippling up the toe edge of your trainer.
5 - The cap will begin to rotate and move upwards
6 - It is impossible to cater for but the cap will during its first rotation come very close to catching on your toe. Hopefully not.
7 - Once the cap has made it one full rotation it will continue to fly (hopefully) directly upwards. Giving you a few options. The easiest is to let it project up and land somewhere on the ground. You could decided to catch it on its way down, if there is a bin near by I would suggest casually chuck it in as if the objective was to ensure that it was disposed of, suggesting a concern for the environment. V cool. If you are feeling really confident you could attempt the shirt or trouser pocket catch, though this does add a whole new element to an already quite chancy process.
The way in which you celebrate the completion of the trick is quite important, there are several ways to do this depending on your audience. If it’s in front of quite a few people you could choose to do the celebratory walk out of the room, suggesting life’s completion, it’s now time to go. This gives the people the chance to look round at each other and laugh in slight surprize at your skill but also at your arrogance, which is then stubbed by you re-entering the room laughing with them, lifting the vibe substantially. This doesn’t work with just one person as they have no one to bounce the laugh off whilst you’re gone. With just one person I’ve found no reaction at all works best, waiting for them to say something along the lines of ‘what the fuck was that!’ in which I tend to answer in acted sorrow something along the lines of ‘I feel the need to master completely useless acts of peacocking in order to gain gratitude from external people’ dumbing yourself down, giving the other person opportunity to smile, which you shall return.
I looked up to see Ricky from famous British soap opera Eastenders, famed mostly by the way his on off girlfriend Bianca screamed his name. I battled with my initial temptation to mimic the way Bianca did in the show. I then thought how often he must get people doing that, and what psychological impact it must have.
This is a secret, I can not tell you what happened