Wednesday, November 28, 2007


I found these boots in the University Centre on Buy Nothing Day this past Friday. There was a great "stuff swap" that was organized, as well as a bunch of other great things (free coffee! free lunch! music! zines! knitting!). So yes, these boots seemed appealing to me as the snow was beginning to fall.

They are size 9 insulated hiking-type boots that seem hardly worn to me. I have no idea what their story is. I wonder if they were left behind when someone moved, or if someone found something better to keep their toes warm. There is something on the outside side of the left shoe, which looks to me a lot like dried up pancake batter. I don't know that that's what it is, but I find it to be somehow a compelling thought. It's pretty much the only indication that they have ever been worn.

Although the boots are a size and a half larger than what I would normally wear, they feel pretty comfortable on my feet. I was especially happy to be wearing them when I ventured out into the world this morning. It was exceedingly cold. The boots felt like a warm, forgiving layer of protection between me and the ice and cold. I also feel like my step is a little more bouncy in them. Kind of like what has happened with other shoes that are large on my feet, where the bend in the toes kind of makes the shoes move in an interesting way in relation to my walk.

Today I got up relatively early and began school work stuff right away before heading out for an appointment downtown. Along the way I appreciated the river and all the sculptures the snow and ice had made. The shoelace of the right shoe didn't want to stay tied up--it came undone three times during my morning excursion. Only slightly problematic due to my back stuff and the mitten factor. Although the boots didn't look or feel familiar on my feet, and even though they are larger than my own shoes, I didn't feel so strong of that feeling of disconnect. Perhaps they aren't so far away from something I might choose to wear of my own accord.

The way home was less enjoyable--with the sun hiding it was suddenly COLD. I did, however, run into Earl and Wendy, and it was nice to exchange smiles and hellos. I was really tempted to go into the yarn store (so close...I walked right by it on my way home), but I told myself that I could do that after I finish the piles of work I have to do. I am currently still chipping away at those.

So yes, home and more computer work, and more computer woes that I thought weren't so woeful, but actually are. I realized that I haven't taken a nap in about a month, and took one for 10 minutes before heading to the Wednesday art class. This morning I knew how much I had to do, but felt pretty okay with it, and not my usual anxious self. This afternoon was a different story. I think I got very tired, and hungry, which makes me easily confused, overwhelmed and teary. I think the final straw was me realizing that I had forgotten to pack my medication, and thinking about the prospect of a night spent in serious pain. Luckily I'm managing alright so far.

In art class we experimented with colour mixing and talked about snow, and how to make brown, and how kissing on the lips is gross (not a subject of my choosing, though it is interesting to note that the majority of seven year olds seem to be in agreement about this). I left the art studio early to try and catch the computer technician before he headed home, which I managed to do. Currently I am in the computer lab waiting for the last hour or so (of four hours) of audio to bounce to a different (accessible) format, and crossing my fingers that the computer doesn't flake out on me again. Unfortunately, the audio is converted in real time, which means that this may be a late night. I am considering napping on the floor.

It's interesting how light I felt in the boots this morning, and later this afternoon as I walked outside, and how in this moment, my feet feel heavy and sweaty in them, and that they are more cumbersome than protective. I guess that like people, shoes are not one thing all of the time. It all seems to be context dependent. I expect that whenever I journey home, I will be very glad for the warmth that I am now irritated by.

The computer just flaked out. Again. Ugh.

I was just thinking of Brad, a friend of Evan's who like to go barefoot as much of the time as possible. I don't remember what he did about snow and ice. But I do remember that when he was at the University of Waterloo, the cafeteria staff refused to serve him unless he wore shoes. He took a pair of old converse shoes and cut out the soles, and wore these to both appease and spite the cafeteria staff. I thought it was pretty clever. And extreme.

I wonder what it means that Brad doesn't want shoes between his feet and the rest of the world.

I also wonder about what the story of these boots are. Somehow their anonymity makes the wearing of them both less complex, and also more curious. But only when I try to think about it, because I feel like their anonymity makes them easier to ignore. Maybe it has to do with the fact that they seem almost brand new that it is difficult to think of what their story might be (and difficult to remember to think about what their story might be). Their newness may also be part of why it's easy to see them more as physical objects, unattached to any particular person or history. Maybe that's why it doesn't seem gross that my feet are sweating in them right now. And yet I don't feel like they belong to me. How much would I have to sweat in them for that to happen? I'm not sure.
I think I might see about that nap...

1 comment:

Christopher Bell said...

Those look like great four wheel-drive boots!