My Red Nikes

I have a pair of red Nikes that make me happy whenever I wear them. They’re classics, They’re perfect, but it’s not their appearance that makes me so happy. Not the comfort either, and they’re damn comfortable.

I was visiting my brother in LA, just me this time, without the family…

Not too far into the trip, my brother suggests we take some ecstasy and go clubbing. I instinctively push back but he keeps going on about it and before we know it, we’re shopping for dancing shoes. (I was wearing flip flops and you can’t dance in flip flops.)

So there we are, in a thrift store and I see these red Nikes. I can tell they’re my size just by looking at them. I know they’ll fit perfectly. I know they’re already mine.

Ecstasy shoes. Forever and ever.

I dance down the shoe aisle and up to the register. I tell the cashier these are my dancing shoes and that we’re going to go clubbing. On E.

I leave the store, flip flops slung on my index fingers, jacket off and around my waist, I feel like the sun is shining for me, like anything is possible. My red Nikes on my feet feel impossibly light, almost mystical, and like Dorothy, I wonder if I move them in the right way, well, maybe, just maybe they’ll make me fly.

Well, the night doesn’t go as planned. Yeah, we found the shoes but we never did track down the ecstasy. Not too surprising, really.

Whatever. We call up our cousins and they come over and we laugh all night long over Moscow Mules. Big belly laughs. Wide smiles that make our faces hurt. We all laugh the same way too: loudly. It’s a family thing. It only takes one of our laughs to get all four of us going. And that makes for a good night, better than party lights and dubstep. Better than whatever’s in those baggies.

And every time I get up to go to the bathroom or refill my drink, before I take a right down the hall, I crane my neck the other way to see my red Nikes, down at the other end of the couch, by the door, peering back at me, docile and playful, like two little kittens waiting to be alone with their owner again.

Don’t worry, guys. I see you.

My magic sneaks that came into my life, lifted me up, and wiped away everything familiar just long enough to make everything familiar even more fantastic.