my first pair / by jen geigley

Okay, at first glance, I will admit that these look pretty disgusting. But to me, they're an old friend. Perfectly faded. Kind of gross. But it's not like I can wash them. I'd wash off all of the history. Do you have any idea how many Lollapaloozas/Ozzfests/Vans Warped Tours these shoes have been through? (They may have even helped me survive a school dance or two.) It's like Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist. "I never wash my pants. I like to keep the night on them."
This weekend, I'm going to a 90s-themed party. So, I found myself digging through an old box of my high school stuff. I unearthed lots of old t-shirts, some Levis cut-offs, and these old shoes. My very first pair of All-Stars, ever. I wore them through four years of high school, and drug them through every concert and mud pit I encountered along the way.
The soles are worn smooth. I used to re-draw the star and the All-Star label on the back time and time again with a Sharpie every time it wore off. Oh, and apparently I liked to draw the Airwalk logo. (This was 1992-96, and I thought Airwalks were the shit. Obviously, this was before you could buy them at Payless.) There's half of a Hennepin Ave sticker that I found on the ground after some friends and I saw a show in Minneapolis. The rubber around the soles have my old favorite bands written on them ... L7, Slayer, Rage. The '1034' you see written there is my high school locker combination. The only boys' names I ever wrote on them were the Beastie Boys.

And so. This concludes my ode to an old and slightly disgusting pair of shoes. Do you hold on to old memories/stuff like this? I'm pretty happy I kept these.