Apostrophe (a-pos’-tro-phe): Turning one’s speech from one audience to another. Most often, apostrophe occurs when one addresses oneself to an abstraction, to an inanimate object, or to the absent.
I have loved and lost, but I’ve never lost my love for my slippers. Oh slippers! You comfort my feet. You wrap them with warmth. All day Saturday. All day Sunday. You deliver me from going outside in the heat of summer, and in winter’s bitter cold. I give thanks to the sheep who made the ultimate sacrifice to line you with fluffiness and the softness of all-natural materials.
Oh blessed slippers. I remember the box you came in, Wrapped in paper printed with holly sprigs and bright red holly berries—so festive, so apt for the season. I tore off the paper and opened the box. I almost wet my New York Yankees pajamas. But I held it. Running to the bathroom, I could think of nothing but pulling you onto my feet—beginning a relationship with depth, and warmth, and non-skid adventures on my home’s wooden floors—no more wearing socks and sliding into the wall when I try to catch my cat Vertigo to give him a good brushing.
But oh, yon footwear, sweet sole cushion, partner in leisure, vessel of perfect warmth, I must bid farewell. It is with tears in my eyes that I say goodbye. Your leather has stretched and you are I’ll-fitting. Your lining has worn away and you are no longer a conduit for warmth and joy. Your upper parts are irretrievably soiled, and I confess, smell a little.
But our goodbye, is not altogether bad for you. I am donating you to the Salvation Army Thrift Store. Henceforth, you will be reincarnated. You will don the the feet of another man—a very very fortunate man. He will lift you from the shoe shelf, put you on, and walk up and down the footwear aisle—he will say “Mmm” and head to the check-out counter, clutching you tightly with his calloused hands.
Life goes on. My new slippers coming from L.L. Bean are due in the mail today. They are made from all-organic materials. They are waterproof, shock proof, and change colors with the temperature. With a heavy heart, I box up my old slippers. We go to the drop-off dock. I hand over the box. At the last minute, I pull it away and run to my car.
My slippers are retired. They spend their days and nights on a special shoe rack in my closet. My new slippers are ok, but there’s something about them that I can’t put my finger on.
My old slippers have taught me that things change. We must learn to let go, but not completely.
Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu)
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