It’s been a good run. For eight years
now you have kept me that oh-so-important inch away from the
primordial ooze that runs across the locker room shower floor.
Though you may have been doused with fungus after fungus, you have
taken it all in stride for
my own well being. I’m going to estimate over 1500 times we have
walked into the battlefield of a minor league shower and because of
you, I’ve avoided the obligatory flow of urine across the tiled floor
and have walked out to the real world free of athletes foot without
fail. Your single strap has held strong for so long now, and despite
the fact when we first met and embraced in 2001 you would irritate me
slightly, our friendship has molded to a level of comfort I could
only hope to find again. You have made a bigger impression on me
than I have made on you.
They named you “13” with a sharpie
when I got you so I could tell you apart from the rest, but you’ve
stayed loyal to me even when I changed to 26, 10, 55, 6, back to 55,
18, 55 again, 6 once more, and 56. I changed, but you were not
forgotten. I knew at my sole I was with “13”. At first I
remember wondering why your name was “B” but was so excited when
I realized you were, fittingly, just a smushed 13. It fit you so
well. And you, me.
It’s not that I’ve found someone
better. It’s that you’ve started to gross me out. Your smooth
neoprene surface has wicked away the blood, sweat, and tears that
have defined me for so many years, but recently, I’ve been noticing
you have been taking that all to heart and it’s been building up
inside you. Or at least it’s evident on the surface. Specifically
underneath your strap and in the fabric creating your Adidas logo.
For close to 200 showers per year, I have asked you to foot the bill
in places like Clinton, IA, Beloit, WI, Albuquerque, NM, Dothan, AL,
Salem, VA, Florence, KY, and countless other hell holes with a hose
mounted on the wall and a rusty drain in the tiled floor.
This isn’t easy for me, as I’m sure
it’s not for you either. But our equipment manager opened my eyes to
a whole new world of Crocs shower shoes. Since your birth in 2001,
our national debt has risen more than $4 trillion and judging by the
material used in these Crocs, I think most of it has gone to their
development. They have holes in the sides and bottoms so soap suds
don’t build up like they did on you. I have an optional heel strap I
can deploy if the floor is extra slippery. [sniffle] And they are
Royal Blue and have the Royals logo on the strap…twice actually,
both the crown and Kansas City in script and they are so comfortable
and they kinda squeak now when I walk because they are still new and
I can even wear them outside because this rubber-like plastic
material is so amazing and they are royal blue and people think I’m
so cool when I wear them and they are so jealous they make fun of the
outrageously colorful shower shoes, but then they see the logo and
think maybe it’s kinda cool, and then they look around the other
people in the shower to see if they approve and they go with the
general consensus, but we all know that even if they are making fun,
it’s just cause they are jealous they don’t have a pair. Oh, this is
so hard. But I can’t go back to you. You smell now.
You were around before Segways and
iPhones. You have outlasted generations of my “outside” shoes.
You and I aren’t friends on Facebook because we go back to a time
when we all survived (somehow) without it. Like all good things,
unfortunately our relationship has come to an end. You have toed the
line of disgusting me for a long time now. Oh, please don’t ball.
This new shower shoe has comforted me from the time we met, and it
feels good to be cared for in a new way. It’s unfair to ask you to
compare. You will always be my first. No one will take that away.