Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Lost Sock

A few months ago while I was putting away my laundry I came across a single black sock.  All of the laundry was folded, but I was left with a single black sock.  I suppose this was the universe's way of letting me know that somewhere between the hamper in my bedroom and the dryer in my laundry room, a small wormhole had opened up and sucked in the sock that would have matched the one I found.  But I refused to believe that sock was irretrievably gone - I had faith that it was SOMEWHERE in my house, and not in a dryer in Shanghai, at the other end of that wormhole, where some guy was even then saying, "地狱没有这些袜子来自?" ("Where in the hell did this sock come from?").   

I put the poor lonely black sock that had remained with me on top of my dresser, thinking that I would find its match soon.  But it sat there, mocking me each morning for four months, reminding me that somewhere out there was one of my black socks.  And I waited.  I am a patient man.  I could wait for that lost sock to return, to come back to its mate and lead a happy life again, as least as much as anything that has to spend its existence sandwiched between my feet and my shoes could call itself happy.

Then last weekend, I found a black sock in the laundry room, in the narrow space between the wall and the washer.  I was ecstatic.  I had my lost sock back!  The Parable of the Prodigal Son came to mind.  I debated slaughtering a fatted calf...

But of course, when the laundry was folded and I came to the last sock and triumphantly grabbed the one on top of my dresser, I noticed that the two socks now in my hands DID NOT MATCH.  One was a Docker, the other Izod.  One had narrow stripes, the other wide stripes.  So now, instead of having one unmatched and lonely sock, I have TWO.  The universe is mocking me.  I know it.  I can hear it snickering.

But I suppose I can take a lesson from this.  I was so looking forward to the day I would find that lost sock.  And when I finally did find a lost sock, that which I thought would be the answer to my problems, it turns out that in reality all it did was double my problems, because now there are two unmatched socks on top of my dresser, mocking me... 

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