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  • Scott F. Parker

"Sneakers"

Updated: Sep 23, 2022

When my sister and I were kids we had friends who lived on the next block. One day they came home with a cassette tape they wanted to play for us. When I heard the opening song, “Sneakers,” I felt like it had been made just for me.


Maybe we all felt that way. That spring, we played “Sneakers” every day as we ran laps around their foyer, boombox in the center of our track blasting out lyrics I’ll never forget:

When I run, I run, I run, I really flyyyyyyyyyy

When the song ended we caught our breaths as the tape rewound. Then we hit play again on what was effectively another track repeat. Whole afternoons passed this way.


How old was I that year? Maybe seven. And how many more years would it be till I relearned what I knew then? That the body is where joy lives. That fun is a renewable resource. That art can be at once fully personal and fully communal.


I don’t know if the neighbor kids ever took up running again the way we did as kids. I don’t know if those afternoons meant to them what they meant to me. We lost touch years ago. But this year for Christmas my sister gave me a vinyl record by a band whose name I didn’t recognize: The Tickle Tune Typhoon. Curious, I put it on the turntable. A few new notes into the first song I was clearing space in the hallway and telling my son to get ready. It was time for us to fly.

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