I knew the day would come. I’ve been expecting it since the Spring. The first time I realized I was in London, riding the Tube back in April. I looked, and I could see plainly the first signs of exhaustion, the first tell-tale reminders that the end was coming. It was a bit of a shock. You know how there are some things you think will never change? This was one of those things for me.
Over the summer months I closed my eyes and mind to the fact. I tried to tell myself that this wasn’t happening, whilst still preparing myself for the worst. I was going to pretend that this wasn’t happening so long as I could. I was going to cling to the last vestiges of life until the last possible moment. Today that moment arrived.
It wasn’t a surprise, heavy rain was forecast yesterday, and I was pretty certain that that would be the signal. I needed to get real. We go months and months, sometimes even a couple of years without rain on this side of the island, and so when it comes, it comes down heavy and loud. It ain’t yer average drizzle.
And so, after our morning walk, and before the rain came this afternoon, I silently and regretfully tossed my faithful, cushy North Face sneakers into the rubbish, and hurried out to the dumpster before I changed my mind and kept another useless article sentimentally clogging up my energies.
My god but I will miss them, though, not since I was a kid have I had such comfortable shoes. Back then they weren’t nearly so technological, they were just “pumps”, and we wore them for everything, but I do remember turning up at my mom’s work wearing a pair in a similar state to the ones below, and my mom being very embarrassed, especially as she’d spent her hard-earned wage on a new pair for me the week before .
These I’d had for around four years, and they’ve been all over England and North Carolina with me, not to mention all parts of this island, and seen some all-nighters too. They kept me painfree at standing-room only Blues concerts, and safe clambering over wet rocks. They have washed like a dream, and kept my tootsies warm on winter mountain walks. I bought the new ones back at the end of the spring, they are ready and waiting, all spick and span, but I’ve been putting it off. I hate breaking in new shoes (odd for someone who generally thrives on change), and I’ve been ignoring those frayed bits where you can see the socks peeping through, that first signal that I’d observed back in April on the Tube – they looked even more raggedy with my fluorescent pink ones! – but wet feet? I don’t mind wet feet, but when the shoes start to rub as well, which they were beginning to do, and you add the wettness, not such a good idea. So RIP comfy friends, let the weather gods bring it on.