Thursday, June 10, 2004

I'm thirty-nine years old, and I have white feet.

Pale, pasty-white feet.

When I was nineteen years old, I would scoff at my dad's white feet. He walked around all day in workboots, his feet encased in thick wool worksocks. He would get home from work and pull off his workboots and socks and let out a huge sigh as his feet emerged from their UV-proof cocoons.

I, on the other hand, spent my summers outside, barefoot, on the pool deck where I worked as a lifeguard. I had a clearly defined line on my feet where the pigmented skin ended and the thick, tough (remember I was walking on concrete all day) pigmentless skin of the soles of my feet began. The tops of my feet were the color of rich, medium-stained mahogany. In fact, a bit of the tan from last summer could still be seen, even in May before I started my summer job on teh pool deck.

Now, as I enter another year in my life, I notice little things like this that tell me times have changed. I understand the reasoning behind some of my parents' comments from the days of my youth. I find myself saying things I thought only my father would say. I sometimes make grunting noises when I get up after sitting for a long time. I have the tiniest, wispy-white hairs growing out of my ears. I have a daughter that can start and competently operate our finicky gas lawnmower and another one contemplating boyfriends. I have been treated to many things in the past thirty-nine years of this existence, some of them requested, some of them thrust upon me.

The wisdom that I used to wish for as a young man has come to find me, and as a consolation prize for not being all that I hoped it would be, it gave me white, untanned feet.

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