by: Michael Shields
The return of our recurring series entitled – KICKS – where we infuse introductions to fashionable footwear with a dash of creative writing. Next up – The Air Jordan 1 Retro ’95….
“Sir, this is simply a Halloween party. I can’t imagine we are bothering any of the neighbors as they are either here, or live too far away to be disturbed. We are all of age, being seniors in college, and no one is doing anything violent or dangerous. I really don’t see the problem.”
“That is all fine and well,” Officer Ramsey broke in with a baritone roar, “but we still need to see the monk’s ID before we can leave.”
I took a moment for thought, searching for the proper assemblage of words that could end this situation. I mean, there must exist some combination of words, or phrases, used in a certain specific order that when uttered would result in these two patrol cars backing out of my gravel driveway.
The situation hardly benefited from the fact that I was dressed as Papa Smurf, my face smudged unevenly with blue paint and encrusted with a voluminous white beard made of cotton balls. My shaggy brown hair was capped with a hand-knit red wool stocking cap, the kind hippies wear to tuck their dreads into, and I completed the costume with a blue long sleeve shirt and red corduroy pants. It also couldn’t of helped that I was extremely intoxicated, and high as a kite.
Resigned to defeat, I yielded to my only option. “Let me see what I can do.”
I retreated back down the weed-saturated brick walkway towards the front door. As serious a predicament as this had turned into, I had to chuckle, discretely of course, about the fact that this wasn’t my first run in with Officer Ramsey. There was no question in my mind that he had no memory of me, as it had been years since our encounter and I was costumed as a fictional blue creature that lived in a mushroom. But I will never forget the man who found me cowering behind a row of boxwoods, exhausted after fleeing the authorities because my closest friends, while in my company, had taken it upon themselves to vandalize the campus bookstore. My innocence mattered little; guilty was I by association and my decision to dart towards freedom as the first of many patrol cars began their descent upon us. Yeah, Officer Ramsey and I had a history, him having gifted me with my first feel of the cold bite of steel handcuffs. But none of that mattered now.
As I entered the house a swell of anxious eyes fell upon me. The entirety of the dimly lit living room was overloaded with zealous partygoers who were waiting the cops out, ready to get back to it. Darth Maul, sexy nurses, maids, and zombies, Neo, Morpheus and Agent Smith, Spanky and Alfalfa from the Little Rascals, the personification of road kill and the exclamation “Fuck You!”, Austin Powers, and multiple Britney Spears – all huddled quietly together as the man of the house was charged with sorting out the unwelcome guests awaiting the return of the runaway monk in the driveway.
“Where is Sean?” I asked to no one in particular.
A few head nods gave me my answer and I jostled through the crowd towards my bedroom, where my close friend Sean, the monk in question, was lying low.
Sean wasn’t alone, as a few of my closest had convened to assess the situation. “What happened Sean?” I began accusatorially. “Why do they care about you and only you?”
“He ran,” our mutual friend, Jonah, offered, speaking for Sean who was nervously pacing about the bedroom. Sean’s long brown cassock emitted a shushing sound as he dizzied about, frantic and disheveled. “They were simply asking for ID’s,” Jonah went on, “That’s really all they want, to make sure everyone here is of age, and Sean just booked into the house when they asked for his. I can’t believe they didn’t chase him.”
Jonah was dressed as a pimp from the 1970’s. He donned an oversized double-breasted purple suit with imposing lapels, and all the gold and jewels you would expect for such a role. But there was a chill in the air that October evening, and because of it he cloaked his suit with the modern accompaniment of a DC shoes hooded-sweatshirt. He looked ridiculous. We all did. But he was taking the situation stone cold serious. Always the leader, you could feel Jonah’s wheels turning, summoning a solution to this mess once and for all.
Through the back window he gazed out upon the horde huddled by the dancing fire at the far rear of the property. Those who weren’t indoors when the police arrived quickly assembled by the fire’s comforting phosphorescence. Eerily, the red and blue glow of the police car’s gyrating siren echoed off the imposing willow trees which enclosed the property, giant chandeliers of foliage, usually more friend than foe, reflecting the menacing threat at the doorstep of the property. He then shuffled over to the side window to take another look at that officers waiting all too patiently for results.
“Sean,” Jonah sternly began, as he cupped Sean’s shoulders firmly with his hands, staring him directly in the eye at arms length. “You may have to bite the bullet on this one. For the sake of the party, you have to go out there. I know you don’t have your ID with you, and they are already upset with you, but you must face them.”
Surprisingly, Sean’s panic instantly dissipated. His eyes steadied, his nervous swaying ceased as he lost himself in Jonah’s strength, and his straightforward assessment of the situation.
“And, you must know that there is certainly a chance you are going to jail tonight. In fact, I’d be shocked if you didn’t. But you have to do this. You can do this.”
Sean, a seemingly changed man, turned to me with purpose. “Do you have a pair of old sneakers around?” he demanded, “I need to borrow a pair.”
Without knowing where he was going with this, I abided with promptness. Amongst the silence that had instantaneously consumed the room, I threw my closet door open and began rifling through the pile of sneakers that amounted the entirety of the closet floor. Eventually, I came upon a pair of old black Simple sneakers. The stitching was shredding at the seams and the sole was worn bare, yet they were certainly wearable and the definition of what he was seeking, “old sneakers.”
“Will these do?”
“Yeah. That will do just fine,” he said while retrieving the pair of embattled kicks from my hands. With urgency he took a seat at the edge of my bed and began to remove the high-tops that had been concealed below his robe. They were stunning, a pair of glimmering white, canvas Jordans with a plain square tongue and a patent leather black toebox. A retro sneaker, a classic reborn, invoking memories of yesteryear.
“Woah,” Jonah and I revered simultaneously.
“Yeah,” Sean added immodestly while finishing lacing up the old beaters I gave him. “There is no way I am wearing those in jail if it comes to it. No way, no how.”
With that he daringly exited the room, prepared to meet his fate, whatever it may be……
The Air Jordan 1 Retro ’95 “Concord” brilliantly recalls cues from the Air Jordan 11, while invoking the ever popular “concord” colorway on the first release, evidenced by the black and white ballistic mesh and patent leather treatment, as well as the clear outsole. These kicks feature the AJ1 silhouette and frame like the other versions. The most visible point is the patent leather toebox reminiscent of the 11s. They also utilize white canvas as well as the plain square tongue for a clean look. The classic sideways “JORDAN JUMPAN” patch is also present as well as the icy sole. You can pick these up on October the 5th for $130 from retailers like Finish Line.