Our wanderings take a sharp detour from Route 66 deep into the heart of Texas, to the city of Austin, that magical, musical oasis. We stay several days with family to catch up on lost time as I recuperate from my sinus infection.
Sal decides that, since I’m in Texas, I ought to have some proper cowgirl boots. On recommendation from his aunt, he takes me to Cavender’s Boot City.
So many boots. Brown, black, red-white-and-blue, hot pink boots. Boots with tassels, skulls, bedazzled boots, snakeskin boots.
A saleswoman asks if I need help, sensing my disorientation, perhaps. I smile and shake my head, pick up a pair and examine them. Like I buy boots all the time.
Sal and I line up a few candidates. I pick up a deep brown pair, shoving my feet into the stiff leather.
“These don’t feel right,” I frown in the mirror. “I don’t think these are the boots for me.”
The saleswoman approaches, a wiry grey head of hair and cool, dry saunter.
“As a sales professional, it is my duty to inform you that you are wearing two right boots,” she says.
“Oh, right. Well.”
She retrieves a left boot and kneels down with a patient air. Helping me slip the boot on, she explains that the ball of my foot needs to line up with the widest part of the boot.
“There should be some shuffle room at the heel,” she advises.
After several attempts, we find a pair that line up nicely. Sal gives an approving nod.
“Yep,” I grin, looking down at them. “These are my boots.”
It’s not just how the boots look, I realize as I take them out to wear them to dinner that night. It’s how they make you feel.
These boots want to saunter and stomp, and cause a ruckus.
And maybe they will.