I decided to change my name to “Boots Walking in America,” but I didn’t have any boots so I visited a man that sold boots. The man that sold boots sold me a pair of boots and gave me a pamphlet. Inside the pamphlet it said, “The best way to break in a new pair of boots is to have someone good pee in them.” I wasn’t sure how to find someone good, but the pamphlet continued, “If someone pees in your new boots and the leather softens then that person is probably good.”
I hung my new boots on my shoulder and walked home. My mother was asleep on top of the television. I left her a note that said, “I’ve gone looking for someone good enough to soften my boot leather.”
Like every other human that doesn’t know where to go, I began moving in a random direction. That direction turned out to be south. I was walking south.
My father once told me that there were no more good people in the south anymore because they all got put in a tree once, but my father never been to the south and he don’t know anything about people.
I walked barefoot because my boots were still hanging on my shoulder.
For nearly five minutes everything about my life was as okay as things could be without things being terrible or disappointing, but then an automobile paused and spit on me. I looked at the spit. The automobile drove away before I could spit on the spithole that had been spit on me.
When most of the spit on my body had stopped being spit I saw another automobile, but the driver in that automobile didn’t spit or do anything except smile really hard until almost everyone in the United States was lonely.
I felt like an invisible buffalo so I couldn’t really smile or talk because buffalos aren’t allowed to smile or talk when they’re invisible.
Something mechanical walked up and held out a jug of milk. It smelled local. The mechanical object set the jug of milk on the ground and drifted into a field. When the mechanical object was gone I poured the jug of local milk on my bare foot.
Somewhere a woman was standing on the roof of a house. The bottom of her dress had once gotten dirty. One of the walls of the house was made of mud twigs.
I was too embarrassed about my feet to ask any of the people I saw if they were good. I worried my feet still smelled like milk. I didn’t want to be remembered as the milk foot.
A boy was playing a game behind an economically depressed public building. The boy ran a ball from one side of an imaginary set of boundaries to the other and then back again. Multiple drops of sweat leaked from his skin.
I remembered the day I first learned to sweat and imagined my mother kissing me goodnight on the back of my neck.
A tray of meat stood next to someone that was paid to stand next to a tray of meat. The person standing next to the tray asked if I was hungry. I looked at the boots hanging from my shoulder and pointed at the piece of the meat on the tray that was actually not meat. A man in a shiny velvet coat and polished boots walked over and picked up the thing I was going to eat. He put the non-meat in one of his velvet pockets. Instead of making noises, I slowly backed away, embarrassed by how unpolished my boots were.
Outside, somewhere, I noticed a crippled man struggling to put some bread in his mouth. I was near a piece of the world located on earth. The crippled man asked if I had any sauce. I lied and told him I did. We looked at each other for a long time. I continued walking south.
A boy with no ears was using a finger to listen to the inside of an empty plastic soda bottle. I asked the boy with no ears why he didn’t have any ears. He nodded. Later, I realized he didn’t have ears because his cricket had recently disappeared.
Four gasoline-powered motorbikes passed me as I walked. Each motorbike was carrying three adolescents. A girl fell off the slowest motorbike. None of the other motorbikes noticed. The girl ran into the woods before her injuries had a chance to kill her.
I found a small red leather glove. It was not glowing. I got down on my hands and knees and sniffed it. The parts that weren’t glowing reminded me of a cracked bar of soap I once found at the edge of a dry streambed.
The thing I was kneeling against eventually turned into a field. I took a bite because I thought this field might be full of turnips. The inside of my mouth tasted like a swollen, rusty peach.
I dug a hole before I began walking again, but I didn’t have anything to put in the hole so it remained a hole and never became nothing else.
The shape in the sky that I pray to when I pray to shapes in the sky was falling out of the sky very slowly.
Up the road I saw a motel. Most of the rooms were dark. I broke a window and crawled into a room with a toilet and a bathtub.
For dinner I licked one of my toes to see if it still tasted like milk, but while licking the toe I only thought of trout. If I found a man selling trout I would buy three trout from the man. Then I would eat one of the trout and put the other two in my boots for later.
I woke to the weight of my own boots resting on my chest. The bathtub had leaked while I slept. There was a wet spot on my body. I peed out the broken bathroom window. When I was done I hung my new boots on my shoulder.
A pile of burning tires smiled at me from the middle of a field. Some men on tractors circled the burning tires, shooting their guns while yelling at the tires to keep burning.
Two or three large, iron bells lay on the ground next a church. A man in robes kneeled beside one of the bells and whispered to it. I offered to help. The man in robes ran inside the church.
I pulled a soggy piece of bread from my pocket and gave it to a toothless dog tied to a fence. The dog had been tied to the fence for a long time. I asked the dog if it would pee in my boot. The dog began to chew on the boot with its toothless mouth.
In a ditch, a man was digging a second ditch. I watched the man dig. After a few minutes he paused and told me not to watch.
An old man on a bicycle passed me. I called out to him. He turned the bicycle around. His head and mouth seemed faded from too much use. The old man just smiled when I asked him if he would pee in my boots. He said it had been a long time since anyone had asked him to pee in a new pair of boots. I removed the boots from my shoulder. The old man apologized and said, “I haven’t been able to pee in almost ten years.” I hung the boots back on my shoulder. Before the old man pedaled away he suggested I try filling my boots with coyote blood.
I moved towards a smoking chimney in the distance. The smoking chimney in the distance turned out to be a wrinkled woman smoking a pipe. I watched the wrinkled woman smoke the pipe until a young, unwrinkled girl slapped the pipe out of the wrinkled woman’s mouth. The unwrinkled girl then dragged the wrinkled woman into a house. A few minutes later, the chimney on the roof to smoke. I thought about picking up the wrinkled woman’s pipe, but I worried I would get wrinkled and then something unwrinkled would slap me.
The day began to tilt. I looked at my bare feet every few minutes. They were dirty, but they didn’t hurt. The bright prayer object in the sky sank a little.
Near a dead piece of wood that used to be an apple tree, I came upon two young men sleeping naked on a red plaid blanket. I thought of asking for their pee, but instead I watched them sleep. My thoughts weren’t good or bad. They were just thoughts. When one of young men began to twitch slightly I stood up and continued walking.
I walked until one of the clouds got orange.
The day unpeeled itself into a dark hole that was too dark for anyone to even notice it was a hole.
At the bottom of a hill I leaned against an oak tree for a long time before I decided to climb the tree and sleep on its thickest limb. My boots hung from a branch above my head. It did not take long for my body to forget it was in a tree and fall asleep.