Wednesday, March 19, 2014

It's Not About the Boots...Or Is It?

An allegory for writing a story.

I carefully select my boots for a long hike. I know how important they are. The entire adventure hangs on their fit and suitability to the terrain. I walk around the little carpeted area in the outdoor store (never buy your boots for a long hike at Walmart) and they feel good. Okay, they feel good enough. Out we go.

Evidently, the little carpeted area at the store is no substitute for steep hills. I sit down on a craggy rock beside the trail and re-lace. Tight enough to hold my heel in place, but not tight enough to cut off circulation. It ain't rocket science.

The trail gets rocky, which introduces an unstable, side-slipping action for my boots. Luckily for me, I had the foresight to bring some band-aids and mole skin. Maybe not enough foresight to break the boots in really well before the hike. Off they come. Another craggy rock by the side of the trail. This rock has pitch on it, which as we know, will never, ever come off my pants. I resist the impulse to rub at the pitch, because, as we know, it doesn't come off hands very easily either. Off come the boots. Aghhh. Blisters already. Moleskin is a wonderful invention that is supposed to be used before the blister to keep the irritated area from rising up in protest with oozy badness. Well, moleskin will just have to go on top of the blister. And maybe if I stuff just a little kleenex in the toe...

All around me, the mountains rise, the clouds build into breath-taking thunderheads. Little wildflowers wink from the strip of grass beside the trail. It would be wonderful, if only I could keep my mind off my blasted feet!

Who made these boots anyway? Some sadist, no doubt. They probably left the nails holding on the soles just high enough to make some poor hiker want to jump off that cliff. Or at least, sit on another craggy rock and eat lunch at 10am because walking until noon is just too painful to consider.
Whose idea was it to go on this stupid hike, anyway? Thoughts of my comfortable house fill my mind. Not my fabulous bathtub--though I love it so, it would kill my feet to hit hot water. No bath, but maybe a nice little bucket of ice water for the poor extremities, and a good book to take my mind off the hike.
Okay, I never said I could make it the whole way in one day. I'll just head back and try again with another pair of boots. After my feet heal. After all, good boots are everything.

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