The dog days of summer: the layers of a million Rachel haircuts are holding up valiantly in the humidity, you can kill a half hour just by bringing up the subject of Dennis Rodman’s hair, America’s biggest heroes are Will Smith in Independence Day, Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible, and the girl from the Olympics with the sprained ankle, and not liking the Macarena is grounds for being exiled to your couch for an entire weekend. Welcome to 1996.
A week ago, my girl walked out the front door and didn’t come back. That’s not such a big deal, but she didn’t close it all the way, and the cat, George, walked out too. I’m not about to start chasing after a girl now, but I need to have the cat back, bad.
Did the usual flyers around the neighborhood, even put a classified ad in the paper, but nothing. Like a wise man once reflected about animal companionship, you got a pet, you got a responsibility. You don’t look for an hour and call it quits. So there’s only one thing to do now.
I page work, tell them I won’t be in. Get dressed. I’m definitely going to need enough pocket room for the discman today. I grab Sophie B. Hawkins and No Doubt out of the stereo, but bring a couple of Wu-Tang cases. There’s no time to answer awkward questions if anyone sees that. Just have to pick a pair of shoes now. I’m lacing them up in the hallway when I hear the phone ring from inside. Whatever. Leave a message and I’ll call you back.
It’s still early, but it’s already hot. There’s a patch of freshly laid asphalt, soft enough to stick to the bottom of your shoes. The detour around brings me past a folding table of goods that are almost certainly not officially licensed. The t-shirt highlights include Marvin the Martian with a Glock instead of a raygun, Taz in a Deion Sanders jersey, and 1996 USA Olympic Weed Smoking Team. The guy selling this stuff has all the charm of Jim Carrey in the Cable Guy, but he would have definitely seen the cat if it came past this way. It takes ten minutes of pretending to be interested in a belt that a certain, prestige, Italian design house definitely didn’t make, just to get an answer. He didn’t see any cat. He asks if I’m buying the belt. I tell him to talk to the hand.
Head in the other direction and hit up a corner store. It’s mostly adult periodicals, but there’s just enough food and drinks to legally qualify as a grocery. The clerk looks visibly disappointed when all I buy is a newspaper and a Jolt cola. Despite this place being the living embodiment of too much information, none of it is relevant to me. That doesn’t stop him from shoving a couple of business cards advertising some non-specific phone services my way.
It’s already time for lunch, and my search is coming up dryer than the Arch Deluxe I bought, so I decide to call the numbers I’m holding onto. I toss the rest of the burger towards the garbage can, but the result isn’t exactly Dream Team material. I watch the balled up remnants roll out of the paper bag into some bushes. No harm, no foul, so it’s time to find a phone. I have to wait out a protracted negotiation concerning the private sale of used goods, which is mostly the guy currently using the payphone yelling something unintelligible, but he's definitely a motivated seller.
I pull out the first card, which is lurid, fluorescent pink, heavily glossed, and carries a lingering odor of artificial tropical fruit. Predictably, I am greeted by a voice wavering between erotic and suffering from abdominal cramps. I place the phone back in the cradle somewhere between “heaven” and “baby.” All I can say is, don’t go there. I try the second card, deep purple, holographic silver text. I expect more of the same, but instead, I’m greeted by a voice that’s pure, late night, Bride of Dracula. Before I can say anything, she informs me “be patient, don’t look for the moon in the sunlight.” I’m getting agitated now; I tell her I’m just looking for my cat. She repeats, “you’ve already found the answer, you couldn’t see it before.” The line goes dead. It’s time to call it a day.
I take the same route back. I’m wary once I hit the edge of the park. The night shift residents are packing worse things than bootleg t-shirts. There’s a familiar whine in the bushes. There’s my cat, devouring the remnants of the latest burger creation more enthusiastically than any human ever would. I scoop up George. Let’s go home.
I check the answering machine. There’s a message from a frazzled sounding, definitely old woman, saying she found my cat. It’s being very fresh, her words, and it’s keeping her from getting any work done. If I don’t call her back this morning, she’s going to leave the cat in the park. The number seems familiar, like I’ve already called it once today. I play the message a second time. I pull the bent up business cards out of my pocket. It’s the same number from the pink one.
Isn’t it ironic?
Even in the digital age, there’s no substitute for pounding the pavement. Featuring our own classifieds newspaper ads on the tongue and insole, the Saucony x Bodega ‘Classifieds’ bring the bold style and rugged spirit of classic, 90s sportswear to the enduring performance aesthetic of Saucony’s Grid 8000. Because, sometimes outdoor adventure is nature trails and rock climbing, but sometimes, it’s in the back pages.
The Bodega x Saucony Grid 8000 “Classifieds” releases Saturday, August 19 at 11:00am EST exclusively at Bodega and bdgastore.com. Each pair comes with lace options – retail is set at $130 (sizes 5-14).