I can’t let go. Not yet.
I almost feel they’ve got some purpose yet to serve.
I’ve never had a pair like them.
Some people get this way about socks or underwear, or T-shirts with some sort of sentimental significance.
(I once wore my Pink Floyd’s The Wall T-shirt until it nearly feel apart.
My senior year, in the front stacks of the Helena High library, I stood facing Angela Lopach. We were posing for our Most-Likely-To-Succeed photo. She smiled and faced the camera, an open book face up in one palm. I grinned wryly, my arms crossed defiantly over my chest.
Have we succeeded? I’m not sure I know how to measure that.
Several years later I wore it still, armpits gone and a terrible gash gaping between the Judge and the Schoolmaster.)
I put them out of active duty on August 26, 2012. I could never wear them running anymore; they’d kill my feet. Even the pair that replaced them is near retirement. How many hundreds of miles are you supposed to put into a pair? Double that, triple it maybe, maybe add a few dozen. Maybe you’d come close.
Now they come out for short strolls, for yard work, for Yo La Tengo concerts when I need to validate my cool-hipster cred.
☑ black plastic-rimmed glasses
☑ ironic cargo shorts
☑ plaid shirt
☑ two-year-old holey running shoes (no socks)
(Q: How much does a hipster weigh? A: An Instagram.)
How much longer do they have?
I suspect they’ve got some time left. Their successors (same size, same style, slightly different je ne sais quoi) are nowhere nearly so comfortable.
When they go, I’d like to give them a Viking funeral: set them afire on a tiny raft and push them into the French Broad, flagrantly thumbing my nose at a dozen state, county, and local ordinances and sending noxious chemically fumes into the troposphere.
That’s how they’d want it.
I’m pretty sure.