This is (Pretty Much) About Old Shoes

barry currin, stories of a world gone mad, beaverdamusa.comAfter three days, my backyard shoes finally dried.

They got wet because I left them out during one of the numerous deluges over the weekend.

Because of their condition, I very easily could’ve thrown them away. Then again, I very easily could have thrown them away 3 or 4 years ago.

I’m not ready to do that, though. We’ve been through so much together.

They’ve walked up 5th Avenue in Manhattan. They’ve seen a Broadway play.

They’ve been to ballgames — some good, some bad.

They’ve been on vacations, to work, to play. On the other hand, they’ve had lots and lots of mundane moments.

I was probably wearing them when Mama died.

If memory serves me correctly, this was my second pair of this make and model. And I believe I’ve replaced this pair twice with the exact same ones.

The stitching always begins to fail in the same place after 3 or so years, and that’s when I get another pair.

They’re good name-brand shoes. I shy away from cheap shoes, because buying good shoes just seems like money well spent.

The others fell by the wayside. For some reason, I decided to keep these.

They live by the back door.

We know each other so well, I can slip them on at a trot and never break my stride.

One of the insoles is missing.

Nowadays, they take out the dog and the garbage with me. They work in the yard. They don’t do much else. They’ve earned a leisurely retirement.

That little hole in the left one that initially signaled they needed to be taken out of the game has grown exponentially. And now, the right one has matching ventilation.

They’ll be stiff for a while now from being waterlogged. I guess that’s the way leather shoes get back at you for being left out in the rain.

I hope it’s only temporary. They come in pretty handy.

They fill a unique, vital need in my life as much as any other material possession I own that is smaller than a breadbox.

I wear them every day. I would have a hard time doing day-to-day tasks without them, because the dog needs putting out every morning, and the garbage runs every Thursday.

And heaven knows, the rains of 2017 have turned the backyard into a tropical rainforest, so yard work tasks continue to pile on top of each other.

This column was Kim’s idea. I’m not sure if she saw the old shoes in some kind of Mark Twain metaphorical sense, or if she was just tired of looking at them and their one insole drying on the deck rail.

Regardless, I thought it was a good idea. Her ideas are usually good ones.

I decided to write it because I thought we could all relate to it on some level.

I suspect you can relate something like this to your life — maybe a worn-out pair of jeans, an old ball cap, a wallet or a pillow.

Maybe you see the shoes story as a metaphor for something important in your life you unintentionally left out in the rain, so to speak.

Maybe something of yours is sitting out in the rain right now, and you don’t even know it.

Maybe you need to go out back and check.

I suspect we all do from time to time.

And I have just the shoes for it.

About Barry Currin

Barry tries to be funny and poignant, and he's usually satisfied when he succeeds with one or the other. (Being both is awesome. And sometimes that happens.) Email him:

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