Stan Smith

by Brian Michael Barbeito

Ah we just sat on the flat roof of the school and looked out at what was beyond because sometimes there is nothin' to do but sit on a flat roof of a school and look out at what is beyond. Going up there I had told him to be careful with the bag because if he didn't take it slow the bottles could break.

I threw some small stones out into the cement yard and I sort of just gently tapped my shoe heels against the bricks like I was listening to a slow sad song though there was no slow sad song, only the dangling feet. In those days on my feet all I wore was Stan Smith Adidas, and when one pair wore out I went and got another and started over.

Look there to the left, I said. There are two birds that moves fast across the dusk.

Ya, Jay said, I see em', but they are not so exciting.

Two women, both very similar in a way, had chosen to leave just a week before, and find other venues and other adventures. (I guess their idea of a good time was not to sit on old flat school rooftops and throw pebbles through the air). They had been keepers and lookers. They had names that were strange, yet not too strange, but their names hardly mattered. One was fluent in languages and had great business acumen. She would make a million and more dollars in the years that would follow. It is not known what became of the other one.

They looked like sisters, offered Jay.

I always thought that myself, I told him, but I never said anything to them or you about it. Maybe it was magical thinking, but I did not want to break the great aura that they had. They liked one another.

And they had few other friends, said Jay.

It is sometimes like that with the ones that are that good looking.

Then I looked again and there were no more birds while dusk had taken a darker turn. I threw some more pebbles into what now looked more like a mini-abyss than anything else. I knew Jay was struggling about the whole thing but I didn't really have anything to offer that could help.

Loss is loss is loss.

The left Adidas I noticed then as I took it off and examined it, had a hole in the sole. I made a mental note to write a poem someday about the two that were keepers and lookers. I also made a note to go see about getting a new pair of Stan Smiths. I got the shoes but never wrote the poem. You can't, as they say, be all things to all people, and you can't even be all things to yourself. Instead you gotta know how to be happy with the shoes you have chosen.