my daughter wrote the story below, black boots, which recently appeared in her high school literary magazine. there have been moments i've experienced as a parent where one of my daughters does something that's so different from what either my husband or i would do---it sorta takes you back and reminds you that yeah, your kids are not you. this was one of those moments.
by: Samantha Rosenthal
Have you ever seen boots so damn perfect that they make actual tears flow down your cheeks like the rain that falls at Song Tra Bong? I have.
It all happened so fast. Boom, click, boom, and I'm down. Boom, click, boom, and it's over. The bullet didn't even hurt, no, not at first. The bullet crept into me like a snail retreating into his shell. It was like the bullet belonged there. Like it was seeking protection. It edged ever so slightly, making a perfect cove to crawl into. It felt like a jab in the stomach. Quick and insincere.
I expected to feel something, anything. God, I thought I might actually be inspired, is that crazy? I thought being shot would force me to face the war head-on. Have a few beers with the war, get to know it. But no, such a thing did not happen. Instead, all I could focus on was that nameless guy and his divine boots.
The boots shone like diamonds in a mountain of dirt. My mistress's eyes may be nothing like the sun but those boots sure were. The blackness of the boots was sleek and sophisticated, like one of those country club guys—always in "cocktail" attire.
You know I'd be lying if I said I didn't want to lick those boots. I craved some kind of connection to something beautiful, for a second, even just a second. I was done with the ugly, the grotesque. The carnage, I was over it
At that moment I never felt so alive. So close to death and even closer to life. Those boots may have saved my life. Is that crazy? The potential of something being beautiful was enough to keep me alive. It honestly was. Damn war.