these boots were not made for walking


Today I sawed the last of our hoarded wood and stacked it in neat rows in our small shed. Two rows of wood and two large boxes brimming with the pieces already small enough to fit through the wood stove’s small door. When it is gone, winter will be gone. I hope.

At the bottom of the wood pile (meter-long split logs, once stacked on pallets behind the kitchen) was a thin twisted bough—perhaps an overgrown, hardened vine. As it slid through the circle saw it smelled sweet, like spring blossoms. Like elderberries. Not a vine, but a piece of the elderberry tree they trimmed last year. I stood with a short stump beneath my nose inhaling and exhaling the intoxicating scent for several minutes. All of spring, just inside that hardened shell. It won’t be long now, a month and a half perhaps.


Several months ago I had a shoemaker replace the zipper on my left boot. They did a shitty job (friends: avoid Schuh Hansa in Mainz), but it was still cheaper than new boots, and better than the safety-pinned-closed method I’d used for several months before that. (There was always something more important to spend the 25 euro repair fee on.)

Today the zipper on the right boot broke—just as I finished sawing—and I cursed loud and long. At the shoddy plastic zipper for breaking, at the shoemaker for doing a hack job on the left boot (not sewn, but glued, un-even and already falling away from the leather in some places), and at myself for not having simply gotten some leather-sturdy needles and repaired them myself, like Lark suggested. This is what I get for paying a middle man to do work I could have taken care of myself.

Well the time has come; I can put it off no longer. I bow my head in silent prayer to the gods of the trash—send an old leather coat for me to cut up and use to create a pretty flap to covered the gaping hole no longer keeping my leg warm! Send a new pair in my size to the local free box! I swear to never buy another pair of zipper boots again.

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