Gladdie shoes on the street, lost soles or down at heel?
I HAVE a shoe problem.
No, not that girly, Imelda Marcos/ Meredith Papavasiliou, footwear fetishist, problem.
This is by no means an addiction - you could fit all the shoes I own into a small-to-medium-sized suitcase. Okay, medium-to-large sized.
But still, my real problem is with old shoes.
Walk a thousand miles, as the saying goes, and you're entitled to judge a shoe-owner.
On the same jaunt, chances are you'll form an attachment to those shoes you're stepping in.
My worn-through Chucks, my sequined Indian slip-ons, a red pair of heels that were the first "grown up job'' shoes I actually liked - they're all on death's doorstep.
The bin is the next obvious step in their journey - but after so many steps past, it's an emotional hop, skip and jump too far.
But Gladstone, I've noticed that you do not share my problem.
That is, judging by the veritable shopping centre of abandoned footwear I spot strewn across the town's gutters and median strips.
It's weird, right?
A pair of shaky stilettos deserted between the racetrack and RG's, I can understand.
A thong that busts one too many times could maybe get thrown out a car window in a rage.
But a pair of boots sitting neatly on the Hungry Jacks roundabout?
I'm struggling to understand that final resting place.
And unless it's the same portable pair every time, everywhere from Goondoon to Glen Eden seems to get the same discarded decorations.
Of course, ditching shoes isn't exclusive to Gladstone.
But in my experience, the boot bandits aim a bit higher.
I'm used to seeing sneakers swinging - from powerlines.
From LA to London and right outside my old Carlton digs, a quirky neighbourhood would mean piles of skyward shoes, set free to live on high.
I never sent a pair in that direction myself - more due to underdeveloped arm muscles as any fears it might be littering.
But having walked so far in my favourite footwear, a final resting place with a view seems more fitting than the gutter.
And I'll keep wondering about the stories behind Gladstone's lost soles.