They Don’t Make Boots Like They Used To

The last time it snowed in Lawrence, Paul and I threw our cross-country skis into the Subaru and drove out to the grounds of the country club. We snapped into our skis and were off across the expanse of crusted white snow covering the fairways.

When we came to the top of a hill, Paul went first steering straight down. I followed, grateful for his tracks. We skied over a little bridge, across a flat and made our way up a hill. Down Paul went.

This time, I decided to be more independent so I followed someone else’s tracks. As I skied down, I noticed Paul had fallen. When he didn’t get right up, I herringboned my way across the way and back up the hill.

“What’s wrong? I asked when I reached him. He held up one leg. The sole of his ski boot was missing. I looked down. There it was attached to his ski.

“This was a short ski trip,” I said.

When were almost back to the lot where we had parked our car–Paul trudging with the jerk of boots piercing the crust of snow, me gliding gloatingly along–my right foot suddenly broke free. It took me a moment to register what had happened. My right ski with the boot’s sole was still flat on the snow. My right boot not sure what it was doing all alone up in the air.

As we threw our cross-country skis back in the car, Paul turned to me and said, “Next time, we’ll use duct tape.”