I wore old sneakers to the gym tonight.
I had forgotten how worn they were with dried mud and dirt tucked into the crevices and coated in places on the fabric. Holes were worn at the heel area, ready to rub and collide with my skin and create blisters.
It didn’t happen.
The sneakers have been with me a long time and were abandoned to the back of the closet for almost two years. I needed a switch from my already old “new” sneakers.
The shoes brought me back to all the color guard practices outdoors and how that mud may have been from then…although it’s been longer than two years since I graduated. I thought to the high school track I visited during summers when I wanted to be outdoors, exercising and not in a claustrophobic gym with fans working overtime while I watched the sun beat down outdoors.
Tonight, sitting at the desk in our bedroom I notice my driver’s license photo. When you get married, you get a new license with your new name, new signature, and yes, new photo, too. Because when you get married you look different. Now, didn’t you know that? No, seriously. I look at the photo which was taken just before summer closed up shop. And I see my face and think to what it used to be. To now. Now it’s aged. The jaw line is different. The eyes slightly reserved. No longer vulnerable and naive. It’s a very different photo than the one I had taken my freshman year of college for my school ID.
I remember the walk all the way across campus the day I moved into my dorm freshman year. All the marching band kids got to move in early because we had been there a week already and it was easier that way. I lived in a triple which was lucky for a freshman to land. I had my own corner, leaving my other two roommates to divide a smaller space with bunk beds. But in turn they got the window.
I remember my parents visiting me each summer to see our show before classes begun, at the football games, whenever I attended away games close to Boston and therefore closer to home, and of course at homecoming. We’d dine out at favorite restaurants. Amherst was a second home. I miss it.
I guess I’m feeling a little sad, a little remote tonight. Wine plays no part in it. I’ve taken too much for granted, so much for granted. The photos will continue to change. There will be other sneakers. And there will be my kids to go visit at homecoming.
For now I miss being young. Today it may be an oxymoron. But tomorrow we all know that will change.