Friday, July 06, 2007
When I was kid, we had a park nearby. It was a nice park. I can remember this slide. Not a tall slide, not the skinny kind but a wide one. Short and wide. Kinda dumb. And metal. Hot metal to burn your ass off. Maybe it was for the really little kids. But we wouldn't let them play on it. We didn't slide on it - we'd walk up it. Or burn our asses. You could tell how old your shoes were by the traction you got going up the slide. It sucked when the tread was totally worn down and you'd slip and fall. Then you'd have to slide and burn your ass. A bummer on many fronts. Then there'd be that magical hot summer day. The trip to the shoe store. Air conditioned and smelling of leather and shoe spray. I know once I got PF Flyers. Or was it Keds. I took the ad to "run faster and jump higher" seriously. I kicked my old shoes under the bed, put on my new shoes and ran to the park. Or flew. I could walk up the slide. I was the king of the playground. For that day. For a while when you put on your new shoes, they're magic. They make you feel alive. You really could fly if you knew how. At some point, you don't even realize it but the new shoes have become commonplace. Just a part of the scenery. Worn in. Worn down. Sometimes you go dig out the old pair - they're comfortable, worn in even if they are missing some tread. Someday, the new pair, will get old, lose it's power and shoved under the bed.