Friday, March 27, 2009

Racing Stripes

Isn't it funny how the mind can wander? How one simple image can lead to so many thoughts?

I bought a new coat. I think it's dandy. It's black (surprise!) and is sort of a short trench coat kind of thing. Anyway, one of the things that really attracted me to the coat in the first place is the racing stripes, oh and also the buttons on the sleeves. I love a long line of buttons up a sleeve. Sometimes.

Back to the stripes. There is a belt on this coat and on the inside of this belt there is a ribbon that has beige, black, and rust stripes. RACING STRIPES! So then I thought, "I bet this new coat can make me go faster. After all, cars with racing stripes can go faster, can't they?"

Then I wandered further. Further back in time.

Faster. Yes, just like my shoes. Then I remembered THE shoes. When I was about five or six years old I had a pair of Wonder Woman running shoes. Oh, how I loved those shoes! In those shoes, I could do anything. In fact, I vividly remember a conversation with my grandmother in which I regaled her with all of the many amazing things those shoes could let me do.

Picture it.

It was a sunny Sunday afternoon. We had already been to church that morning and of course I did not draw any unnecessary attention to my shoes. I had to stay incognito. Super heroes are supposed to be just like everyone else when they're not saving the world but beyond that, it's just not proper to do such a thing in church. My grandmother cannot drive so we caught a ride with one of the other parishioners out to the cemetery on the other side of town, our side of town. We used to frequently visit my grandfather's grave and ensure that all the flowers we had planted were weed-free and that all the bird poop was cleaned off of his headstone. Then we would visit our other family members and make sure their spots were ship-shape as well and then we'd walk home. It was that particular walk home in those shoes that I remembered best.

Looking back on it now, it was quite a hike from the cemetery to our 'hood for a little girl but we had done it so many times that it was really nothing at all. Especially since I had Wonder Woman shoes! There are many old growth trees out there and I informed my Nan that if I needed to, I could run right up those trees. You know, like if she were stuck up in one of those trees or something like that. Then we passed the gully. I told her that if I needed to, or really wanted to, I could jump down there and land flat on my feet without a scratch on me. You know, because I have the Wonder Woman shoes and they gave me power. Then we crossed the train tracks. I informed my Nan that if the train were coming and it was going to hit her that she didn't need to worry because with my shoes, I could pick her up and run the rest of the way home without running out of breath. Of course, I also informed her that since she wasn't in danger and I didn't need to save her that I couldn't just go ahead and do those things because that would just be showing off. She agreed.

Did I mention that my grandmother is the most tolerant woman I have ever met in my entire life?

All of this because I have racing stripes on my new jacket. The mind is a wonderful thing. I wonder what memories will come flooding back if I find something that reminds me of my Wonder Woman Underoos.

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