15 October 2006
I laid my work boots on old copies of the racing form spread on the cold linoleum. The black spider I have been saying, "Good morning spooky," to for months eyed me distrustfully from the safety of his door jamb cavern. I pulled a tin of boot polish from the boot polish nook and opened it quietly. I looked inside the tin with my boot polish brush in hand. The can was empty. Who was the dumb motherfucker who put an empty can of boot polish back in its nook? The dumb motherfucker was me.
Beneath a couple greasy shoe rags I found a new can of boot polish. I was astonished to think I had been looking ahead to the day when the old tin of polish would be empty. I opened the new can of polish with a snap and dug into the thick, creamy black paste. I spread it generously on my big black boots and the dusty, torn boots came to life.
I let the boots sit while I drank another cup of coffee and looked over last night's notes and decisions in today's racing papers. A gelding by the name of Vintage Mintage, ridden by an unlucky jockey, looks to have the mustard to surprise most of the crowd in today's 5th at rain polished Dope City Downs.
Next my work boots soaked up some waterproofing. Then I buffed them up with a big soft brush. They shined like the Stanley Cup when I was done buffing. But they were not as shiny as my dad's shoes. You have to join the army to learn how to make black boots shine like crazy diamonds.