Moon Boots

Last year I was in getting massage treatment for my back which tends towards bundles of pain that have to be alternately coached and broken open. The therapist and I talked. We’re usually talking about something random to distract me. I needed shoes with arch AND ankle support which I couldn’t find.

Then we branched into shoes we loved as kids. His were classic Docs and Chuck Taylors. Mine were Traxx which I obsessed about keeping clean. (Later I found they were made by Kmart, who knew Kmart made shoes?) We couldn’t wear any of those classic kicks nowadays which brought some melancholy.

But while we were talking, I flashed to a pair of moon boots that I had. It was not unusual for a hot box once open to free up not only pain and thorned, captive tension, but also memories. As if memories were not only kept in grey matter but in fascia as well.

In my mind’s eye, I saw one moon boot in the blinding white snow. I crouched on a knee. Then like that I wasn’t at the medical facility. I was in the snow of southern Idaho bundled in my fur-trimmed, orange snowsuit. My little brother played nearby. Moon boots were the most amazing snow shoe—well, shoe—ever! Astronauts wore them, right? That’s how my 8-year-old-ish brain operated.

Then snow exploded on the side of my head. I looked up. Dad had hit me with a snowball. Mom was smiling. The pair descended the slope, around the side of the addition to our mobile home they had built. My brother and I screamed with delight. They rarely did this sort of thing.

That moment plays and replays. I search for every detail saved there, but how would I know that I needed to remember every aspect of this moment? That 44 or so short years later Mom would be gone. Dad would be in a facility; his own memories vanishing faster than he could make them.

Those two people walking down the slope toward me, nothing could ever happen to them. Nothing could make them not be there. Those smiles. The screams. Dad bent to sculpt another snowball.

Image from pixabay by Mihai Paraschiv

Author: Ariana B

writer, anthropologist, artist, dramaturg

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