Jon de Vos – The sound of one sock flapping
Winter Park, CO Colorado
You can never own socks.
You can only clasp their elastic ribs for a brief, shining moment before they move on. Oh sure, you may have a delightful menage a trois with these two sleek, ankle-hugging partners, but then suddenly one of them is gone like a sneak in the dark, or a thief in the night, or a faithless lover on a southbound freight, or an endless stream of stupid cliches.
Searching the Testament, we find reference to this phenomenon in the book of the Apostle Paul in his Epistle to the Textiles, where he says, “Pine though you may, the Prodigal Sock will not return to the fold until well after you have thrown the Faithful Sock away.”
But my deeply irreligious training causes me to cast my own theory: Once the Faithful Sock has been callously discarded, the Prodigal Sock may have been merely hiding deep in the bowels of the Holy Washer, only to rise again on the Third Day. The Prodigal Sock, expecting to reap the entire Length, Breadth and Depth of the Sock Drawer as a reward for his abandonment and return, is instead grasped by his heel and hurled into the bowels of the Grand Old Dump.
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If you die before your socks, steel yourself to the knowledge they may not find a foster home. Socks are not big at estate sales.
As sand through the hourglass, coat hangers too, pass through our lives like soap operas on an unplugged TV. In the pitch dark, behind closed doors, who knows what goes on in your closet? There should be one hanger for every article of clothing in the house, with maybe a couple of spares in the event of a sleepover. It doesn’t ever work out that way. It’s either feast or famine and it seems to alternate every time I open the closet door.
The other day I couldn’t get a shirt in edgewise because empty hangers took up every extra inch. I grabbed a handful and went to throw them away but I couldn’t do it. What if suddenly I needed one to twist up into a hook to fish the car keys out of the disposal? Guys are genetically unable to throw away a good tool. I put the hangers back in the closet and threw the shirt on top of the sleeping basset hound who leapt up and rocketed through the dog door out into the snow.
Hmm, I thought, maybe I could do away with hangers altogether and throw all my shirts out in the dog pen. Then I could train the mutt to bring them to me, “Freeta, bring me my plaid pullover. No, silly, the other one! Yes! That’s it, good girl!”
I only had one coat hanger all through college. It’s probably still back in my dorm. With one sock draped over it.
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