If these boots could talk, they would have a lot to say.
They would tell you about Hong Kong, trudging through mushed-up remnants of street food on skinny side streets. Oh, those little bits of gunk lodged between the cracks in those rubber soles.
They would complain about stepping on freshly hawked loogies on the uneven pavement of Shanghai. And they would chatter, recalling stories of the slippery ice-lined streets in my quiet (but treacherous in the winter) Chicago neighbourhood.
Oh yes, If these boots could talk, they would share some great stories. If they could, they may tell you about walking through Trafalgar Square in London and listening to the sweet thumpa-thumpa of street performers.
Yes, this ankle-conforming, toe-snuggling pair has experienced everything from a different perspective, down there.
They have had a nice run, possibly having had greater adventures than some of their brothers and sisters sold off to other boot-buying customers, or maybe they got short-changed. Yes, it's true, these boots had to work harder and bounce back after being shoved into corners of suitcases and folded and flipped into carry-on luggage. They have had to adjust to drastic climate changes and undergo countless hours in flight.
But if this pair could talk, perhaps they would say that a city is just a city and from a boot's perspective, there is no distinguishing between any two.
From place to place, these old boots have done my dirty work, slowly being ground down by the pressure of my weight and flattened by the hard ground below. These two are not forever but they have been faithful friends and we have shared a lot of memories.
So how do you know when it is really time to bid farewell to your faithful friends? Some seasons, distressed fashion is all the rage, so what if next year is that year? Why go out and spend good money on a new pair of distressed-looking boots when you have authentic distress in your closet? Even the massive paint splatters add charm and enhance the personal value of these boots, I lament.
I guess the end of the line comes when the duo doesn't want to dance the dance anymore. Once weather-proof, my friends have succumbed to the pressure of ice, rain, sleet and snow. There is no patching or plugging or sewing that can protect my toes from the elements now.
So, dear friends, my trusted boots, farewell and thank you for the memories. There will never again be a pair quite like you.
Naomi Yorke is a Port Coquitlam student who lived in Shanghai, China for four years, writing about her experiences twice a month for The Tri-City News. She now lives in Chicago, where she's attending art school, and continues her column.