MONEY FOR NOTHING, TRIPS FOR FREE
The opportunity to get something worthwhile - or, when it comes down to it, anything - for free is an increasingly rare commodity in the ever-connected, task rabbit, gig economy world in which we live. So when presented with the possibility to cash in your chips for some no-strings-attached joy the only acceptable option is to reach out those proverbial hands and grab it by the aglets. And the best of these Get Out Of Jail Free From the Mundanity of Life cards? Those are the fleeting glimpses in to a universe of limitless potential: those seconds when you see someone walking, always purposefully and always at full speed, totally unaware that his shoelaces are untied.
That next, accompanying feeling is not an illusion: time actually does stop, spotlights really do converge on this disheveled speed demon, and, like the gift from heaven it is, Kelly Clarkson's A Moment Like This comes on in your Airpods, even though you'll forever swear you have no idea how the track made it in to your iTunes.
The preface to this short story always plays out the same. You're walking down the street, head tilted slightly towards the ground since A) you're not a tourist, and B) you don't make eye contact with strangers because you're not a sociopath, when something catches your attention: a flicker of movement that doesn't belong, like a garden snake cutting a path through grey asphalt. And there it is; a gift from a benevolent god, an untied shoelace. One man's mistake begetting - if god continues to smile on you - another man's pleasure.
What will happen next? You've punched your ticket to the schadenfreude lottery. Will today be your lucky day, or will the universe giveth then cruelly taketh away? Will this oblivious individual deprive you of what little free joy life has to offer? We all know the odds: ninety-eight percent of the time you'll follow behind for a block watching as the errant laces spin just out of reach of the other shoe, like hidden magnets or the hand of god are blocking your path to Nirvana, but it's that other two percent that makes life worth living. When you see that left foot come down upon the wandering laces and the wearer's right leg goes to move it, finds itself trapped - Oh my, urban quicksand! - and momentum takes over, all that's left for you to do is stop, stare, and bask in the warm glow of someone else's misfortune.
Existence is hard, and unlike this Pullover Parka from Rocky Mountain Featherbed Co, it is imperfect. Even for the best of us, sometimes shoes come untied. So next time you find yourself launching gym clothes and assorted pens across the street as your bag spills open and your legs buckle beneath you, don't let your cheeks turn red with embarrassment or cry out in shame. Instead duck your shoulder, roll, and embrace the concrete. Because laces strain for freedom, people fall, and the beauty of watching the universe come together as you eat it in the middle of the street is what makes this, for the rest of us, a world worth living in.
Brand: Rocky Mountain Featherbed Co.
Store: Frans Boone
Why: For some reason the bulk of clothes-wearing society treats white like magenta or neon orange, only wearing it in the most conservative of pieces - dress shirts, t-shirts or tennis shoes - instead of embracing the 'goes-with-anything' ease of incorporating white in to a broader wardrobe. This pullover parka only comes in one size and is meant to be worn loosely, eliminating the, "Does this fit me right?" line of self-inquiry, and its removable down liner makes it perfect for any time of year. With drawstring cinches at the neck, wrists and waist at least you've got four strings you won't need to worry about coming undone.