Driving Barefoot

Some habits persist, and some come and go.

Although my driving instructor bud tells me it's terribly dangerous, I must confess that I've been creating a new habit over the past few months: driving unshod. I can't seem to get home through the all-too-long afternoon commute with my shoes still on.

Really, this is just an extension of my lifelong practice of eschewing shoes as often as I can. As a kid, I would refuse shoes to ridiculous levels: Hey! Let's see which barefoot kid can stand on the oven-hot Texas summer baked concrete the longest! Hey! Let's walk barefoot across Grandaddy's cow pasture full of torturous stickers to get to the pony that lives next door! How about over and over, for years!? I'm not quite that ridiculous about it anymore, but even now, the callouses on my feet are probably at least 1/4 inch thick (which was my handy excuse to the adult remedial involuntary driving lesson -- "my feet are like shoes").

Fifteen or twenty seconds after I plop down in the Prius, I pop on Sportsradio 1310 The Ticket because it amuses me, and pop off mis zapatos, nestling them to the left, well away from the gas and brake. In Dallas, one's car is such a second home that you might hang curtains or art, and I think that's why I do this, reveling in the comfort and airy deliciousness of having nothing on my feet. I speed or plod along with the shiny, unending flow of all the other machines, trying to maintain my space cushion fore and aft. Because my feet are broad and strong, I often brake with only my right big toe. A ton or so of glass, plastic and steel, gradually halted by one capable digit. (Come to think of it, maybe that part is dangerous.)

Is it illegal? I don't know. What I do know is that while I am entrapped in traffic, my feet are unfettered and free, and in that way, I am a little bit closer to being home.


I've wondered whether that's legal. But I have a solution. After my 16 hour shifts, I have a 2-hour commute home. I bring a pair of flip flops. My tennis shoes feel like concrete blocks after my 2x16 weekend. So I pop on the flip flops for the drive home. Then, if the po po pulls me over, eff him. Nigga gotz his shoes on, bitch.
Ari said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amandarama said…
Wow. If I had a two hour commute, I might just have to kill myself. I commute for a half hour and am a seething ball of hate for all the other drivers around me my the time I get to my garage.

But, getting back to the topic, I've driven barefoot and it feels weird to me. I like having the shoe between me and the peddle. Unless I'm wearing heels. Then I'd rather drive barefoot.
Azathoth100 said…
See, now I hate driving unshod. I don't like the feel of the pedles against my feet, I always feel like I'm not pressing hard enough on then. Differant folks....
Camplin said…
I feet have always been in shoes, so when I go outside barefoot and step on anything at all, I squeal like a like girl.

On another note, I uses to be art editor of an arts and humanities journal known as Sojourn. They take poety, art, short stories, non-fiction, and scripts. Please submit some work to the journal, I say this because I love your mussings so much I think you could write anything and get it published. Go to www.sojournjoural.org. And I hope you get published.
Ari said…
Amanda: Some days it bothers me more than others. I think mostly, though, I'm numb to the idiocy and only occasionally wake from that slumber to scream out "Shove it if you don't like this u-turn!" or something like that.

Aza: Well as of right now, it's 4-1 against driving without shoes, so you're on the winning team.

Camplin: THANKS for your kind words. I should take one of these pieces, beat it about a bit and do that.
Dr. T said…
Don't know that it's illegal, but every time I've driven even a short way, it just felt wierd.

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