By Erickka Sy Savané
My bunion was hurting me something fierce! For the longest I didn’t even know I had one. One day, I noticed this little round bone poking out the right side of the ball of my foot like a little door knob. Sometimes it would get sensitive when I wore certain shoes and hurt. Thank goodness, for google. When I realized it was a bunion I was in total shock because bunions are for old people, cartoon characters, and people who neglect their feet. Not gorgeous young women such as myself who love a good neon polish and foot scrub. Welp. So I’m at the doctor, trying to figure out what I can do to get rid of this thing when he informs me that not only do I have a bunion, I also have a bunionette (a what?!!!!!) on the other side of that same foot, and hammer toe. GoodGodAlmighty will he have to amputate my foot?! How did this happen?
“First, let’s measure your foot,” says the doctor. And the news just gets more bizarre. He tells me that my size 9 foot is actually a 10 ½. “No, that can’t be right,” I say. “Can you measure it again?” He does just that and it’s a 10 ½. By now I’m thinking something is wrong with his measuring utensil, but I’m not going to whoop his ass about it. He tells me that it’s not uncommon for feet to grow, which goes against everything that I learned in school in terms of how we stop growing around 18-19 years old. I always assumed that feet were included in that equation. He says my feet issues are because my shoes are too small. The cure? No amputation or surgery- just start buying the correct size shoes and come back next week with some running shoes in size 10 ½ so he can make me a foam to fit inside it to support and protect my feet.
I won’t lie. I left there not sure if I fully believed that my foot was a size 10 ½. Maybe it was vanity but I just couldn’t picture myself with NBA basketball player feet. I had my own little test that I would run the next day with a pair of brand new Nike running shoes that I hadn’t worn yet. I’d wear them on my 10 laps around the track and if my feet felt fine this doctor could take his size 10 ½ and shove it.
So I wear my brand new Nikes feeling real Colin Kaerpernick #justdoit when halfway through my run that bunion catches fi-YAH and burns a hole right through my shoe! Oh shit, the doc was right, those shoes were better suited for a newborn! And while I could accept defeat, yes, my feet were big as hell, the real issue for me was how I missed it.
How did I miss a bunion, bunionette and hammer toe…all signs that my feet had grown? Was it because of what I learned as a kid? The more I thought about it, I realized that my mind had become fixed. A blue sky could never be red even if there was an apocalypse. I started thinking about the other things in my life that my mind could be fixed about. Like white people. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that these times we’re living in have me looking at white people as if they’re all either racist or accomplices to racism. And even when I see white people fighting against the very same things I’m fighting about, maybe even spending more time and money than me, I can’t see it. I’m fixed. I start thinking about the ways that people have me fixed. Sometimes my husband will bring up something I did 10 years ago and even though I’ve changed 10 thousand ways since then he can’t see it because his mind is fixed. Sometimes nothing we do will change how people see us or how we see them…or in my case…how we see ourselves…Thank God for these jacked up feet.