Thursday, February 10, 2005Mud Slurpee
A non-political post to make it up to my dear mother for implying that she might be a sucker -- though without taking it back.
I told her when I last spoke to her that my new snow boots were magical -- I bought them on the very last day of the last big snow, and that since then not a single flake of snow had fallen; my snow boots were miraculously transformed into mud boots. Of course, as everyone knows, speaking the name of a magical phenomenon destroys its power, and this week it has predictably begun to snow again. (Some would say that snow in Vermont in February is only to be expected, but I know uncanny influence when I see it.) So my snow boots-cum-mud boots are snow boots once again.
Except that it hasn't gotten cold enough to re-freeze the ground, so the mud's still there underneath. This, helped along by boots and tires and snowplows, generates an ungodly snow/mud mixture which I personally have always referred to as "mud slurpee." (For those who don't know, a Slurpee is a delicious slushy beverage sold at 7-11, of almost exactly the same consistency as the sloppy stuff all over the ground here.)
So everything is quite stark and white here today (except the ground, obviously)... the drive to campus was very pretty in a blank sort of way. The trees are all weighted down with snow, so they lean in over the road like the roof of a tunnel. The only living vegetation I can see from the window of my room are the five tulips I bought yesterday. I've taken to buying flowers every week -- entirely my mother's influence, food for the soul and all that. Last week I had Statice, as she correctly identified over the phone; this week, brick-red tulips. My mother is a florist by trade (basically), and a very good one... she's got impeccable taste and a good eye for design and she's very skilled at producing those elaborate flower arrangements that contain half-a-dozen or more varieties; her arrangements always turn out beautifully. She's attempted once or twice to show me the basics -- the ability to throw together a bud vase can be useful for getting some extra cash around Valentine's and Mother's Day -- but, to be honest, I'm just not very good at it. She can chuck some garden cuttings in a vase and it looks great; I can carefully, consciously arrange flowers according to core design principles at it comes out awkward and lumpy-looking. I can handle composition in two dimensions, it's just that third one that gives me trouble.
But when it's just a few of a single kind of flower, I seem to be able to manage okay. My five tulips would probably look better in their vase if there were ten of them instead, but I think my five still possess a pleasantly minimalist quality. Sort of Swedish.
Anyway, getting back to the boots -- because obviously that's where I was heading narratively -- I can't help but think that my gait becomes more natural (for me) in boots. My not-too-fast-but-determined pace mellows into a sort of laid-back amble in boots, and I've always taken a certain pleasure in the sound that boots make on bare earth -- kind of a hollow sound, as if you were walking on an enormous man's chest.
I really do adore a good pair of boots.