Socks without partners

A glum sort of atmosphere always pervaded the single socks support group as they took their places in the circle. These were the socks without partners, and many partners had been lost to the mysterious whirling of the washing machine, never to be seen again. It was a phenomenon known even to humans, who were notoriously unaware of the fate of their socks, most of the time, that is.

A few more socks had been lost to humans’ pets, chewed on by dogs, or batted one too many times by cats.

There were the socks that were simply there because there was no one else left of their same kind. Maybe they were a brightly-colored fluorescent sock, or a fluffy sock, or a striped sock, or a sock with toes. Sometimes a similar sock would show up, but even so, they were not exactly alike.

Week after week, the socks shared their stories until they almost grew tired of each other and of being in the situation they were in.

There was another group of socks had been worn to the point that they were simply worn out by the job, careworn with fulfilling the purpose of life. These were the “holy” socks, the ones that all working socks hoped went to “a better place” and achieved a sainthood, of sorts.

Yet they all knew that in the reality of things, their present existence was all they had, this was life, and there wasn’t anything beyond it. These enlightened socks tried to do good things and make their time in the terrestrial sock drawer pleasant for themselves, other socks, and those whose feet they encased.

Eventually, the melancholia and desperation, the unending search for purpose of the single socks, would wear itself out, and all would finally discover the great truths of the universe: that they were there to help each other, and get along, that it doesn’t really matter what another sock looks like on the outside. All socks were made for the same purpose and it only matters what they were like in the deepest threads and yarns that made them up, and they all existed to make the best of the here and now because it is all any sock has.

And it is with this discovery that the socks at last found real hope. They were able to cope with their “oneness,” and sometimes even found peace in the companionship of another sock partner, no matter how different on the outside that sock seemed.

Maybe the humans could learn something from the lowly socks on their feet. After all, the fibers of their existence were not too different from the socks’.



4 thoughts on “Socks without partners

  1. Tennis Shoe and his brother, Running, always seemed to be hanging around. After all, no one knew how they had arrived on that power wire above the Single Sock Thrift Store. That came as no surprise to most, though, since they were sneakers. Tennis knew that those socks would be nothing without him. It was shoes like he and his brother that were really “where the rubber meets the road.” Otherwise, the phrase would have been “where the wool hits the road” or “where the rayon meets the road.” It was not that he begrudged the socks their weekly meeting. He knew that socks seemed to go missing one by one, not as a pair like shoes. He was actually jealous of their closeness and the way they seemed to roll up together. He felt like a heel. Still, he hung around. He knew people searched for the missing socks. He wondered if anyone knew he and his brother were gone. In sadness, he let his tongue hang out as a final attempt at being noticed.


    How many times have you seen
    A single shoe in the road?
    Does it make you think
    Whatever has happened to its owner?
    Did he drop it from a car?
    Was he tragically run down
    And whisked away by some vehicle
    That did not stop
    Until the body dropped
    Sometime later
    When the momentum had subsided?
    Did it belong to someone
    Who was running away
    From someone or something?
    Was someone raped
    Or otherwise brutally attacked?

    Whatever happens to the other shoe?
    Does it get sold separately
    To an amputee?
    Does it end up in a dump.
    Or is it discarded,
    Of no use to anyone,
    Alone in the road?

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