A recollection from childhood of the power of synchronicity of words, and happenings.
The Shoe Repairer
For the inner child in all of us and what we have become
V 2.0 24/01/2017
Mr Soley the Shoe Repairer
My family lived in an old dilapidated flat above the high street shoe shop of Mr Soley in the wealthy suburb of Wimbledon. I was around five.
Access was up a lightless flight of steep stairs of bare wooden dark brown worn timbers. It was beside old Mr Soley's shoe repair shop. He was the landlord. Along the way, there was the front door to another flat with an Irish family - the O'Reillys. We shared the bathroom and toilet with them. It was filthy.
Religious Irish Catholic doctrine had delivered them 12 children in 12 years with no regard to family planning, from a wife in virtual servitude and a husband that struggled to pay the bills or hold a job. Alcohol was Mr O'Reilleys medicine. Frequent betting on the horses was his hope.
The shop smelt of leather, polish and glue that seemed to sting my throat. It was colourless except for shades of black and brown and I heard frequently omitted sounds of revolving machines that were used to shape the newly attached heels and soles in place of the wealthy.
One day, i fell down the flight of stairs, landing beside the side door of the shop. My father rushed down to check if i was injured, and Mr Soley came out from his workplace in support.
Mr Soley. What a name I thought. He fixes shoes with soles as i lay on the ground and looked up to him.
He walked with a limp, slowly, had a club foot and black shoes, wore a dark suit with pin stripes that never showed the dirt and spoke politely and quietly.
On Sunday's he would ride the red bus across to the next suburb to preach at the St Lawrence Sunday School for kids. I knew, because i was sent there when i was older, and i saw him there.
A polite man called Mr Soley, born with one leg shorter than the other, who fixes soles onto worn out shoes, and preaches to young souls at Church on a Sunday.
In this place my family were happy. I was happy.
It's funny how things and people become names that they are given, i thought as i got older.