I was driving down I4 Sunday (really it could have been any day) and saw a sneaker on the side of the road. I imagined it tumbling along, heel over toe, laces akimbo, until it slowed and finally came to a ragged stop on its side, its tongue lolling from the ride. But how did it get there? How did one sneaker break free from its mate and find itself here, all alone, on this road?
Maybe the two of them were tossed in the bed of a pickup truck for the ride home, too rank from whatever activity they had engaged in to share the cab. With enough speed, any bump could have sent it sailing, forever parting the duo.
Or maybe some feisty teens (or adults for that matter) in a fit of passion, anger or over-exuberant high jinx merely ripped it off the foot of a car mate and sent it sailing out the window. The possibilities are endless given a well fueled imagination. But still, why one sneaker?
And so it is with the myriad of things that litter the side of the road, which makes me wonder, do I have a similar scenario on the side of my road? Is my life path strewn with objects and events that have skidded off unnoticed, left forgotten on the side of the road?
It is disconcerting that there may be unaccounted for experiences lying about, never having reached their mark or lived up to their full potential. Would they have mattered? Would they have been the butterfly wing that dramatically changed my life, or would they have merely folded in with all the life experiences that stayed on the trail to get me exactly where I am today?
I would like to think that they would have mattered, but maybe the unromantic truth is that they were simply jostled aside by something more important, something that was destined to hold more weight, to be more critical to the outcome.
Still, whenever I see a solitary sneaker I will wonder what life would have been like if it hadn’t lost its mate.