Boots, actually. I got my first pair of Doc Martens in high school (oxblood, laces half done) and wore the hell out of them until I was out of college. It was the 90s. We watched Singles and dreamed of moving to Seattle or New York. We loved Nirvana and Mudhoney and L7 and Soundgarden and Sleater-Kinney. We got our noses pierced. We dyed our hair Tori Amos red. We got tattoos. My Doc Marten boots took me all over campus, waded through standing room only crowds at the Music Farm (the old and new one), drank vodka cranberries at AC's (the old and new one), ground peanut shells to dust on the floor of that shitty little club off of market street where we first saw Billy Pilgrim, stood so close to the stage at a Ramones concert that we're still a little deaf in one ear, sat outside the door during hurricane season after hurricane season, fell in love, fell out of love, smoked cigars and sang the blues at that basement club in Savannah, fell in love again and again and one more time after that. And then we grew up. We lost track of our Docs. They ended up with a friend or at Goodwill or left behind in that great second floor apartment on Alexander Street with all of those windows and hardwood floors and a fireplace in the living room and one in the bedroom.
These new boots are not like my old boots, even though they're the classic 1460s. They're black, for one (oxblood is hard to come by these days). I'm not ready to wear them to work, but I wear them almost all the time when I'm not working. They feel like the old ones, but don't make me feel like the old ones. I know the 90s are long over and I'm not sure I could fall in love again, at least, not so hard again. I can feel them pulling, though. They want to go see We Are Augustines next month at Antone's. They whisper, "listen sister, you live in Austin now and there is so, so much you haven't seen and heard." So I made a 90s nostalgia playlist for both of us (links are to individual Youtube videos but you can get the whole thing here).
Mudhoney, "Touch Me I'm Sick"
L7, "Pretend We're Dead"
Concrete Blonde, "Joey"
Violent Femmes, "Good Feeling"
Mazzy Star, "Fade Into You"
Mother Love Bone, "Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns"
Tori Amos, "Crucify"
Nine Inch Nails, "Closer"
Hole, "Asking For It"
Porno for Pyros, "Meija"
Seven Mary Three, "Water's Edge"
There are things we can let go of and things that become ingrained. My hair isn't quite so red. I wear my nose stud when I remember to put it in. I'm still getting tattooed. My heart is healing. I know it's OK to admit it when I'm scared. I'm just as self-involved. I admit that now too. The 23-year-old me has been painted over so many times it feels like her windows will never open again. But she's there. She doesn't want to wear torn jeans and plaid flannel, but she loves the shit out of our new boots. We can hear the music.
"In one more hour I will be gone
In one more hour I'll leave this room
The dress you wore, the pretty shoes
Are things I left behind for you." (Sleater-Kinney, "One More Hour")