I know, because my shoes are the same way, the tread is dotted with bits and shards and slivers of common, everyday road salt. And I don’t need a jeweler’s loupe to tell the difference. I’m an expert; all I need is the naked eye. I must’ve pulled billions of sharp, pointy nuggets out of my shoes in the past couple of months. Heck, it’s my new hobby.
No longer slick or smooth-soled, my loafers have turned into golf spikes. Seriously. After a short walk from the car, they’re studded with salt and have the grip of Velcro with the traction of snow tires. Heck, I could navigate icy, mountainous terrain with sure-footed ease. While that’s nice outside, it’s treacherous indoors. My feet snag on carpets and rugs and I stumble over nothing. People think I’m drunk, which is better than stoopid, I suppose.
My entire world is bespangled; it sparkles like a diamond mine. Sidewalks and roadways glitter, parking lots are starry firmaments, winking and glinting like nobody’s business. It’s unsettling; all those glowing, blinking pinpoints make me feel I’m being watched. Look away, I mutter, scram, shoo. But they don’t.
Folks have gone crazy with the salt this year, using no restraint whatsoever. If it’s on the ground, we pelt it with salt. Bombard it. As a result, everything is stained with those awful white rings until it’s as desiccated and pale as sun-bleached bones. Life here resembles a colorless, joyless Georgia O’Keeffe painting, the one with the cow skull.
This is what happens when otherwise reasonable people are assaulted (no pun intended) day after miserable day with a harsh and unsparing winter. We throw things at it, to make it go away. But our strategy isn’t working. Nothing’s working in these sub-zero temperatures. The ice doesn’t thaw, the snow doesn’t melt, the temperature doesn’t rise. Still, we don’t stop. No, sir. We just throw more and throw it harder. Road salt is hope, it’s our only weapon.
Unless, wait, how about Tabasco? Or, ooh, wasabi. Hey, duh, why not try pepper? No, I’ve got it … jalapeños … !? And an antacid in the spring.
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