No One's Boot

I lived in this tiny apartment
with a shower made out of a slab of cement
and bedsheets hanging from a rod.
I was starting university.
My parents were relieved.
I read Gabriel Garcia Marquez novels
and fed myself on ten dollars a week.
I had a cat I was afraid of
because he attacked people's eyes.
I took medication that turned my urine green,
my chest hollow, and my hands cold.

I read and re-read One Hundred Years of Solitude.
My bare walls were populated with yellow and blue bits of paper
that organized my thoughts around acculturation.
I stuck short strips of transparent tape to each of my left fingertips
to be ready for the next bit of paper.
I dreamt about the slow march of banana groves
and read essays by Mircea Eliade.

My apartment was filled with basement and dumpster salvage,
and I looked around at it all one day
and knew that when I moved in the spring
almost none of these things would come with me.
They were still garbage in my apartment.
My bed was a construction of plastic milk crates and flattened cardboard
topped by a slab of pink foam I had dragged in from an alley.

One day,
I fell through the bedsheet shower curtain and gashed my leg.
The gash kept bleeding and bleeding while I was out,
and, when I looked down,
it became clear that it wasn't my boot on my foot anymore.
I was filling someone else's boot with my blood,
and they didn't care if I did.
It had become no one's boot.

I showed my friend how strange it looked,
the blood seeming black as it congealed in my sock,
and she shuffled me home.
Stop laughing, she said,
because I was laughing now
while my foot made kissing noises in the muck in no one's boot.

She cleaned my leg and fed me aspirin while I lay on the bed ,
and I traced the milk crate waffle pattern with my shoulderblades.
Does it hurt? she asked.
Nothing felt like anything anywhere, so I shook my head no.
You have a fever, she said,
and I fell asleep and dreamt that my leg was a dead leg,
and that the blood drying in no one's boot was no longer mine.


Elan Morgan

Elan Morgan is a blogger, designer and consultant, and speaker who blogs and works from, spreads gratitude through the social network, celebrates quality blogging with the, and speaks all over. She has been seen in the Globe & Mail, Best Health and Woman's Day magazines, TEDxRegina, and on CBC News and Radio. She believes in and works to grow both personal and professional quality, genuine community, and meaningful content online.

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