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Davis, California

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Column: 14 Boots

Sometimes you have no idea how you got to a certain point.

On Saturday, my roommates and I were in a circle, screaming in each other’s faces. This screaming lasted a good seven seconds, followed by giggling, hoisting ourselves up off the ground and carrying our tire tubes back to the checkout pile. All seven of us had made it down the snowy hill, arms linked, feet out.

We spent the weekend in a cabin in the mountains. Seven different schedules, seven sets of classes, internships, extracurriculars, jobs, family obligations – we all set aside this one weekend to slap another layer of cement on our friendship. This weekend’s cement consisted of snow, the mud at the bottom of a lake and more cookies than I would care to admit.

Most of us have spent little time in the snow. Consequently, we were completely enraptured by the stuff. Elena had the very excellent idea of jumping off a tall woodpile into the fresh powder. Now, the other result of spending no time in the snow is that we all wore rain boots. (Trust me, this becomes important later in the story.)

On Elena’s first jump, she sunk several feet into the snow. Upon pulling her feet out, she found that one of her boots (green with polka dots) had decided to stay in the hole – and it took more than a little convincing to coax it out.

I sank up to my waist on my first jump, but I was determined not to lose my boots. My socks had stayed dry all day. My left boot leaks, but I had put plastic grocery bags around my feet before putting my shoes on. I’m not sure if this is a fail or a win.

Anyway, if my socks had made it dry for this long I wasn’t going to dampen them now. It’s not like the cabin was 10 feet away and I had extra pairs of socks inside. (Okay, it was exactly that.)

Unfortunately, my boots (black with polka dots) were three feet under and not budging. So I sat in my snow hole and started digging. Elena and Megan came to my rescue and dug me out.

The last jump was Emily’s. She carefully selected a fresh square of snow, took a flying leap and disappeared below the knees. Following Elena’s lead, she left one of her boots (blue with monkey heads) in the hole. When she couldn’t pull it out, she sat down in the snow, looking bewildered in her one water-permeable sock and wet jeans.

First, Elena tried digging it out with her hands. Megan (sporting brown boots) then fetched a shovel. That didn’t work either. Emily sat still, making wretched faces and putting her bare hands in the snow. It appeared she was losing her mind, overtaken by the stresses of life and the stresses of that boot. I contributed by taking pictures and laughing. At long last, the boot was extracted. All was well again.

That’s how life in our apartment has been for the past three years. Sometimes one girl is able to pick all of us up and laugh at our troubles. Other times, someone’s being stubborn and doing things the dumb way. The other girls, however, are there to dig her out and help her to stand again. (That dumb, stubborn one is usually me.)

Other times, though, one of us will be hit by a blitzkrieg of pain. A breakup, a family crisis, an emotional meltdown due to the ravages of the quarter system. Shell-shocked, not knowing what to do, she’ll be surrounded and supported by her sisters. Soon enough, the storm will be over. We’ll all be screaming and sliding down a snowy hill again.

The only thing that doesn’t change is we’ll still be holding onto each other for dear life.

BETH SEKISHIRO dedicates this column to her beautiful and beloved roomies – and also the trombone section. She can be reached at blseki@ucdavis.edu.

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