I'm feeling frumpy, dumpy, and gross today. I keep thinking about those shoes in my profile picture. You know, I've had those since the 8th grade.
They were not my first pair of Chuck Taylors, nor my last. However, they are my most loved. I say "are" because I still have them. I can't really wear them any more. I mean, they still fit, but as you may or may not be able to see, they are wounded. In the sole. Heh. But seriously, there's a hole in the sole that I covered with some duck tape. There's a piece of green yarn tied to the laces from a high school friend's lesbian girlfriend. I wrote all over them. Mostly poetry, but some from books and other stuff.
For instance, the tip of the right one says, "Everything is Cool and Froody," which, if you're a Douglas Adams fan, you should know is from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. The left outside sole screams, "Yippy-skippy super monkey!" which is something my high school buddies and I used to yell. I think we may have gotten that from one of those novelty posters of a chimp wearing a baseball cap. Maybe. The right outside sole warns, "Muppets don't smoke." I don't actually know if that's true or not. Let me know if you can think of one who does.
And yet, the catalogue continues. The inside left reminds us that "Blueberries are our friends." I've completely forgotten what that's about, but I still think blueberries are our friends since they're full of antioxidants. The instep of the right is a double whammy, an eerily prophetic P.J. Harvey lyric: "I was born in the desert, been down for years. Jesus come closer, I think my time is near," and the dubious assertion that "You are the devil's cupcake." Aren't we all?
I named my right shoe, "Harliss P. Pickleseimer," a name I heard once and immediately fell in love with. I christened my left shoe with the equally unique moniker, "Bob." But on the tip of the left is something I wrote on all of my Converse All-Stars, the first stanza of Lewis Carroll's poem, "Jabberwocky." I think I've quoted it here on this blog before, but let me remind you all: "Twas brillig in the slithy toves/ Did gyre and gimble in the wabe/ All mimsy were the borogroves/ And the mome raths outgrabe."
Whenever I feel I'm losing my joie de vive, I get them out, not forgetting to hold my nose, and think about how carefree I sometimes felt in my youth. I'm thinking of the brief manic episodes that blossom forth from the hell that was my adolescence. There's a lot of miles on these All-Stars, a lot of tear drops, a couple of blood stains, and a lot of dirt from all the places I love. I can't throw them away any more than I could throw away my childhood.