I can locate the holes in my shoes by the presence of desert-red dust stains on my formerly-white socks. Slipping them off for my umpteenth time, I wonder how many more days I can coax from them. The structure is more Seam Grip than original rubber, and the foam along my heels has long since worn to nothing or been warped by the heat of too-close campfires. They’re starting to fit just perfectly.
It’s funny how we develop these emotional attachments to inanimate objects. One friend refuses to rock climb without his particular Orange Alien cam, a specimen so worn down and fallen-on, that it fits spaces too small for its original dimensions. So is it the cam he likes, or the memory of hundreds of past adventures? And am I reluctant to trash my foul-smelling shoes because I really want to wrangle one more alpine trip out them? Or am I just afraid to divorce myself from all that they’ve carried me through?
I bought the shoes from La Sportiva’s clearance rack, 20 months ago when I lived in
But they’ve also been there to play volleyball at one wedding (my own) and to run 15 miles into Stehekin for the wedding of my friends Chelsea and JB. They remind me of how much change I’ve witnessed since their purchase, both in my life, and in the lives of those close to me. And the thought of getting rid of them makes me miss the times before these changes.
So I’ll dig the tube of Seam Grip out of or freezer and go to work, hoping to keep the shoes alive for just a little bit longer. I’m just not sure exactly what it is I’m preserving…