Old Soles


Well, they’ve had a good long run.

It’s time to retire the running shoes. 

We spent the afternoon engaged in that most American of pastimes: stimulating the retail economy. Nearly all of my favorite clothes were being worn to pieces- I was in dire need of new clothes for work, new socks, new boots for work and, of course, new running shoes. My mood setting out was not good. After a series of terse answers and snappish responses, the Curmudgeonly Lion asked “are you in a funk?” In the kind of way that said “I need to tell you you’re in a funk in some way that won’t make it worse”. But the shopping gods smiled upon us and we came home laden with nearly everything that we set out to get. 

Among the spoils: new running sneakers. 

So it’s time to get rid of the old ones and I’m washing sentimental: these sneakers have seen me through a lot- I’ve had them since 2010: they’ve moved with me across the country, seen me through my graduate studies, fought with me through the fog of depression, beat down the knots of anxiety, run me through hundreds of miles, half a dozen productions, and a second move across the city. 

These shoes have been faithful companions for a long time now and it is difficult to know how to dispose of them in a way that seems fitting for that kind of loyalty. If They were still in good shape I might donate them to a clothing drop, allowing myself to believe that someone else might give them a home, but they are too are worn to pieces- the soles on the toes are worn down to smooth foam. The uppers have had holes through them since 2015. They should’ve been retired years ago. Throwing them in the trash feels cavalier. I’d burn them in a Viking funeral if I weren’t pretty sure they’d give off toxic black smoke. I’d bury them if I thought they might biodegrade within a lifetime. 

I suppose that the best I can do is put them to rest in a shoebox and send them into the capable hands of waste management. How silly to be so attached to a mere object. But they represent so much of my life- throwing them away feels like the end of an era. May the next era live up to the legacy.

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~ by Gwydhar Gebien on May 13, 2017.

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