October 16, 2008
By Ty Kipling SILVER, Seattle, California
Ty Kipling SILVER, Seattle, California
6 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Today I wear boots with slam-drum-fizzle confidence. My boots are of the Ugg persuasion, brown with embroidered hippie flowers, not spiked or black or shiny; but in them I am big and bad and glorious. So I jump step to step down the stairs from my room and land with panache, sure and steady but impressive in my clamor. I take the dog for a walk and smile wide, teeth white and ferociously kind; and my shoulders grow straight and long and assured. I don’t bother to smile at children on bikes, who don’t need smiles or gifts of any sort from me, because they already are and have everything. In this sense I am a little intimidated, perhaps even hostile towards them. They have no right to possess in great quantities and at all times the boot-happy forthrightness that is mine in only the obscure measure of hours. But the adults, the other walkers, to them I send light beams through parted lips. And in this I am highly generous and bestowing, for with my stride and shoulders I know and feel things that make me Queen of the Universe. The usually-threatening forces of oversensitivity that mar my vision and fold my face in on itself, leech-like, are quenched and flung and thawed into benign empathy: so that as Queen today I wield power with a discerning hand. My feet stand heavy with influence, yet I have no ambition greater than to walk around the block, furry cohort at my side, hoping desperately not to see the return of my everyday self.

The author's comments:
I couldn't find a true category to put this in, beyond nonfiction, because it is a piece about our knowledge of ourselves, about how subtle changes -- i.e. wearing a certain pair of boots -- can effect a shift in our perspective, if only for a short time. I guess the most straightforward explanation of this piece is that it is about confidence, and how we can find it in strange places, even if we lose it easily.

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