My father died when I was eight and my brother was three. A boy’s loss of his father at age three is Freud’s sweet spot. The whole Oedipal thing supposedly kicks in and his life goes all to hell in a mental handbasket. That was a spot-on prognosis in this case. Anywho, we were fortunate enough to be raised by a wonderful nurse with only the occasional maternal intrusion to screw things up. My brother loved nothing more than clanking around the house in our mother’s high heels, you could hear him for miles. Her collection made Imelda Marcos look like a slacker. The specialty was outrageous styles purchased in bulk at the annual Krauss Department store shoe sale. One might even say that she loved her shoes to an unhealthy degree. One time when we were on what was euphemistically billed as a “family vacation” some of her shoes flew out of a suitcase strapped onto the roof of our car. Without a moment’s hesitation, she careened off the highway, slammed on the brakes and dispatched all of her offspring onto Interstate 10 to retrieve them. Apparently she was of the opinion that children come and go, but shoes are forever. So, back to the boy, time came for my brother to start kindergarten and he had to take some wacky test to be admitted. One of the questions they asked was, “What are shoes made of?” and he responded entirely appropriately “satin, of course.” Instead of fast tracking him to the Fashion Institute they declared him too immature for school. My mother was never more proud.