Thursday, October 30, 2008
I own one pair of cowboy boots.
They aren’t the razzle-dazzle, city-fied country boots either. Granted, they’re not true down-and-dirty boots – they’re somewhere between the two extremes. They’re brown, a little loose, and, when I pulled them from my closet this morning, a little dusty.
I’ve heard that smell can be the most powerful memory tool, but sight’s pretty good, too. As I put on these two-year-old boots, a dim memory – not really a memory, but the memory of a picture of myself as a two-year-old – came into view. I was in nothin’ but a diaper – you know, those pictures that your Mom takes that will embarrass you later in life. But I was standing in my daddy’s boots.
The boots came up past my knees; who knows how I even got them on my tiny (at that time) feet. But they were the real deal, cowboy boots that he wore to work each day.
I vividly remember a brown set that he had that were always covered in dust, probably a hazard of the workplace. And, once I purchased my own, for sentimental as well as fashion reasons, I wondered how in the world my dad could work in boots all day long. They are not the best comfort shoes. They have hard soles, pointy toes, and they often stick to your legs, which is not good for those of us who are claustrophobic. Wouldn’t a pair of rubber-soled, flexible tennis shoes be better?
As I walked to class this morning in my boots, I felt calluses coming up on my feet. I remembered my dad walking in his boots. And then I remembered what he wore now on his feet:
Flexible, comfortable, fairly expensive Rockports.
The man has learned. And I think I’m wearing some tennis shoes tomorrow.