The city poured salt on the sidewalks and gravel on the roads. At dusk, the curbs were black with soot and dirt. But the next day was sunny like spring and the snow began to melt. Small streams traveled along the curbs into the gutters. Snow hills — created by the plows the night before — beside the sidewalks shrunk like icebergs in the north. I didn’t believe in global warming though, because I knew that the next the day in this city it could be minus thirty again.
The sidewalks turned into swamps, and the combination of murky water and salt and gravel ruined my new shoes.
My shoes went from a smooth red to a faded red. The shoelaces looked as if they had been chewed by a rodent; the edges of the shoes frayed to the point shoe glue no longer fixed them; the white bottoms because stained by the filthy winter water. I once wore them those shoes with pride.
Two days later, the snow vanished, revealing the brown grass, and the gravel and salt piling up in the snow’s place.
I heard the the squish of Mrs. Mallard’s foot steps along the soaked lawn. I was leaning against the railing on my porch, with a coffee in my hands. I loved the bitter aroma of black coffee.
“You should be wearing boots in this weather, else you’ll just wreck your shoes,” she said. I raised the coffee and nodded and said good morning.
“Well, watch, tomorrow it’ll thunderstorm,” I said, as Mrs. Mallard walked up the steps, and then stood raise me.
“Are you mad? It’s winter!”
“Yeah, but this is Calgary.”