Isn’t that a fantastic title? Well, it’s fantastic in the sense of fanciful or implausible, but not fabulous. Socks don’t have thoughts or feelings or motives, except the ones I ascribe to them, of course. Then they take on a rich inner life, one in which they plot and strategize, form loyalties and enlist cooperation.
In my experience, socks have a one-track mind and that track is escape. Nothing else. I know this, I watch for this, yet they’re opportunistic little buggers and I regularly lose one or two a year. A sock sees a chance and, schwing, they hightail it. You can never relax your guard around them. Not if you love your socks as I do.
Washers and dryers, laundry rooms in general, are the Underground Railroad to a sock. In their eyes, it’s the path to freedom, but they’ll jump at any chance. Literally. Especially tube socks, those mothers are crazy, but every style — from knee socks to anklets — is shockingly heedless. I had one, a fluffy, low-cut number, leap from my balcony the other afternoon. Just threw itself over the side.
You see, I was out there reading a book when I spotted dog hair clinging to the soles of my socks. So I took them off and stood at the railing clapping them together like chalkboard erasers. One jumped from my hand and hovered momentarily in an updraft. I batted and snatched at the air, but to no avail. The sock fluttered and drifted gently away, eventually disappearing onto a balcony many floors below.
I console myself by imagining the dismay of the resident of that particular apartment. Socks do not appear of nowhere. They don’t just fall out of the sky. So how did this one weird, unfamiliar sock get there, they’ll wonder? I’m not talking and no one can make me. No, sir. No way, no how. This will remain my little secret until the day I die.
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