To be or not to be.


Every time I see a pair of Gucci horsebit loafers, I think of Patricia Highsmith. She was the one who introduced me to them when I was about 14. I was binge-reading her Tom Ripley novels at the time, needless to say that I was in love with him, but truth be told, I cannot remember one single item of his clothing, just his suave character, his elegant way of dealing with life, life and death actually, as he has taken so many, I can, however, remember so very well the Gucci horsebit loafers of the boy who followed Ripley, the one from the fourth part, a millionaire’s son who needed some advice on how to not only get away with murder but how to live with it. These Gucci shoes, only a little detail, not even a surprising one, as a 1980 millionaire’s son was definitely in that brand’s target group, they were just giving his background away when Tom Ripley spotted them on his feet, with me, however, this little detail became an obsession. I wanted to have them, the very same, I needed them, I hoped to be mistaken for a mysterious, utterly elegant millionaire’s son, and while I was sipping my chewing gum flavoured tea from a gigantic mug, I saw no contradiction here, I was wondering where and how to get them, meaning how to convince my mother to get me some.
Today, I still don’t own a pair of Gucci horsebit loafers, never have, I’ve owned Gucci shoes, even quite smart ones, thanks to Mr Tom Ford, but never ever a pair of these iconic loafers. Why is that, I’m asking myself? I think it’s because deep down I know I never could pull them off. I’m just not fit to be a murderer, a suave one, I mean, however much I’d love to.

2 thoughts on “To be or not to be.

  1. Thank you for reminding me that I need to re-read Highsmith and also discover this novel which I have somehow overlooked – shame on me. Thank you too for teaching me new English vocabulary – I love the design of these loafers but had no idea they were called horsebit! I am rather relieved you don’t own a pair though, as not having read the novel, I would never have identified you as a potential murderer. All this talk of shoes in literature takes me back to the end of Le Côté de Guermantes when Swann calls on the Duc and Duchesse to inform them he is dying. Refusing to believe him, the Duc sends Oriane upstairs for her red shoes as he has noticed she is wearing black ones with her red dress and they leave for a dinner, unwilling to let mortality interfere with their social calendar. Since then, I have been unable to look at red shoes without a sense of poignancy.

    Liked by 1 person

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