These May be Combat Boots

But I’m not trying to fight you.

I’m late to meet friends uptown and it’s pouring. I fly by everyone picking their way down the slick subway stairs and push onto the packed train car.

With each stop more people crowd in, jostling me to the middle. Mine is next. I shove through soaked bodies, praying to get out in the short time the doors stay open. The final woman ahead of me is moving so slowly I can’t tell whether she’s exiting at this stop or not.

I drop my shoulder in an attempt to squeeze by her. She slips a little and ends up off the car and on the platform, landing on her purple galosh-ed feet, thank God. As I’m about to follow her and apologize, she turns and in the most motherly, heartbreaking southern drawl, scolds, “Yew. Are out. Of control.”

I’m pink. No one has ever said this to me. I’m easygoing. Really. Ask anyone.

In the very next millisecond I see it. Her accusation is profound. It isn’t that I’m out of control. It’s that I have too much control. Because of my girly-fied combat boots—a surprising find on a Sears shopping trip with my dad last winter—I haven’t so much as wobbled in even the slipperiest of circumstances in a year.

I have so much control that I’m oblivious to everyone else’s smooth, slippery lack.

Called the Reese by the Sears brand, Canyon River Blues, these are the most comfortable, roughly stylish, oft-worn shoes in my entire rotation. I curse them for being so magnificent.

Instead of pulling the woman aside to buy her a warm churro and explain my theory, I mutter an untrue and extremely lacking, “It wasn’t my fault.” She disappears ahead. I go on outside to the rain and before I can control myself, cry, just a little.


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April 2008
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