After a few days in Montreal my boots were trashed. I was early for my flight. I decided to get a shoe shine, which up to now had be an ‘I never’. I climbed up into the chair and the kind man began his work at my feet. He applied the black polish and started rubbing it in. The only issue was, my boots were brown.

I didn’t stop him. I let him change the colour of my shoes. It’s not that I wanted that to happen, I just couldn’t bring myself to say anything. The whole scenario was strange enough. I already felt oddly guilty for being there, having someone else deal with my filthy footwear. To impose any more of my will on the situation seemed just too much.

I find I do that all the time. Haircuts, meals, business deals, I settle for less, I give in. I don’t ask for what I really want.

The word ‘deserve’ has always been a problem for me. More often than not I will simply take what I am given. That sounds like a good disposition, but not so for me. I will just be quiet about my disappointment. It’s my own damn fault. I choose, even by not choosing.

It may seem too strong a word given the trivia of the situation, but there on that high chair, looking at what was happening at my feet, I lacked courage. Funny, because that’s a trait I aspire to often. It’s even how others might describe me. I can be bold, I can step out. Except for when it comes to asking for myself.

So, I stepped down, paid, and waited for my flight, in my ‘new’ shiny black metaphors.