I’ve closed the book on a few dreams:
- To play quarterback in the NFL
- To play baritone saxophone in a studio jazz band
- To be appointed Pizza Czar for the state of North Carolina by Governor Pat McCrory.
Let me tell you about a little dream of mine I’ve revived.
This dream is about a pair of jeans. Size 32 jeans.
I’m not the gazelle I was in my youth. Let’s be honest, a gazelle in my youth I was not. I wasn’t swine-like, or of hippo proportions. My animal match: A bulldog. A fleet-footed, quick-witted, sharp-worded bulldog, but a bulldog, nonetheless. All barrel-chested and not at all svelte.
As I reel in the years and my pant size drags along behind, the changes have been subtle. Buttons and zippers require more … concentration. It’s a human phenomenon. In maturing age, the river of life flows over our once jagged lines and adds a smoothness to it. We’re rounded out, softened.
All right. Cut the poetry; this is a dude’s post about pants, let’s not forget. Target brand Blue jeans, with a loop for a hammer and side pockets for a ruler and pencils, like a carpenter would wear. Circa 2000. I might have worn them once. They’re dark. They’re good looking, albeit grossly out of style.
They’re probably the nicest pants I have. I rediscovered them while taking inventory of every article of clothing I own.
(I really did this. I have 86 baseball caps, 47 T-shirts, 18 pairs of underwear. I could go on).
The outdated jeans represent something to me, something I’d forgotten as roomier pants covered these fly jeans in my drawer like sentiment over the skeleton of an anklosaurus. Hidden, preserved, but just waiting to be excavated.
I’ve said goodbye to many pants over the years. Some to charity, some to the great khaki hunting ground in the sky, after I’ve scuffed the cuffs severely or wrecked them with Polynesian dressing all over the left leg. But these – these I’ve hung onto.
They shed light where there is darkness. Not unlike what St. Francis of Assisi implored us to do in his signature prayer, to sow faith where there is doubt.
I’m not saying my pants are holy, but they stand for this ambition I have, the same ambition that can see my daughters on college soccer rosters someday.
The same ambition that makes me want to write like a champ for my champ of a boss.
The same ambition that just knows the Colorado Rockies will get back into the World Series sometime between this season and mankind’s colonization of Mars.
It’s the gumption that I’ll turn these jeans from fossil to colossal if I can just moderate my beloved pizza and stay faithful to yoga class and never stop moving and improving, on the disc golf course and the sideline and even casting lines with Grace into a lake of a sleepy Saturday morning.
And by colossal, I mean that I’ll give youngsters a reason to laugh at the old dude in carpenter jeans from Target. I’ll just smile, because I know if a bulldog plays quarterback in the NFL or fits back in his size 32 jeans, it ain’t by accident. And it’s worth the journey.