Eventually, I purchased an entire wardrobe to accompany them. Denim skirt, plaid orange blouse, Dingo boots. Bright red pantsuit, Dingo boots. Wide-brimmed hat, beige suit, Dingo boots. Dingo boots. Dingo boots. I wasn’t concerned if others thought my footwear collection was insufficient, but then neither does a child her new red slippers. Nightly, with the scent of wax and leather in my nostrils, I buffed them to a bright sheen with Dad’s wooden handled, fine-haired shoe brush, anticipating the next day’s wear.
Even though living in Virginia, I should have known not to wear them in a knee-high snow pile, but my love for the boots outweighed intelligence. My angst to restore the pair to their former glory, forever ruined them. Any desire to replace the boots was shoved to the back of my small, pale green closet.
In recent months I plowed the soil of Florida malls in search of medium-brown leather, low healed, and comfortable boots. Yes, the kind my denims would slide into. I’d like to say I saw them on a shelf in a department store, but it’s more like they walked up to me with a smile and a firm handshake.
The moment seemed surreal from the unzipping of the leather parts, to the actual slide of my polka-dotted clad foot up and onto the sole. Standing, a spark of youth sizzled in my inward parts, as I was transported to the day I flipped a hula-hoop around my waist while tossing a twirling baton in the air. Glancing in the mirror, my hair sparkled as if sun washed in gold whereas my face held a certain glow cosmetics couldn’t duplicate. I was eighteen, standing in Dingo boots.
Time doesn’t sleep in dwellings like closets, bedrooms, or church buildings. It moves along from sunrise to sunset, whether or not we’re willing participants. Yet, every once and awhile time, like God, weaves an unsuspecting embrace into our narrative reminding us of the day when we caught fireflies in a jar. We’re utterly astounded, so deep and so wide, we’re speechless with delight. Something like ordinary boots lands in our lap and it’s not a special occasion.
These boots will not be easily surrendered, even when they do their dance to a foreign Florida heat. Somewhere between craving the cold and Mother Nature’s addiction for adding logs to her fire, my boots lose sync of time or season.
I suppose one night while sleeping someone will attempt to pry these boots from my stinking feet and I will release an animalistic roar. What’s a Cinderella to be without her glass shoes?