In all probability, if you’ve taken a philosophy class in the past three decades you’ve had to read “What is it like to be a Bat ?”, my 1974 essay exploring consciousness and the inescapable mind-body problem. A little known fact is that my first draft of this essay was called “What is it like to be a Sock ?”  
  Over the past three months I’ve explored the intractable question of consciousness through the following questions: “What is it like to be Pac-Man ?” “What is it like to be George W Bush ?” and “What is it like to be a Sled Dog ?”
  I sincerely hope that today’s short story proves to be as thought provoking as the rest…


The Solitary Sock 

    Nobody understood. Beige tried to explain this to the therapist but his efforts were met with the same professional nodding of the head.
   – I mean, she was my soul mate. We spent so much time intimately tucked away inside each other. She was so soft when I went inside her. Sometimes she went inside me and it was just as warm and wonderful.
   The Therapist briefly opened his eyes with real interest but then he realized that the sock was simply describing a folding of the laundry.  He felt cheated, tricked into remembering the mundane. Yes, he needed to do laundry when he got home.
   – But it was healthy. We spent at least one day every week doing our own thing. I sometimes went onto his right foot. Sometimes his left. And vice versa her. Once the shoes went on we wouldn’t see each other for the whole day. I trusted her. Of course I trusted her. Where was she going to go? But it was in that orgy of a drier that things started to change. One day, we got split up and I was matched up with this French Beige sock that obviously wasn’t meant for me but well spent the entire week together. Nothing happened.
   Why was he so embarrassed about the inevitable? One indolent sock fretting over the inevitable, the Therapist thought. Can’t he just pick up some hobby and get it out of his system? Hockey. Golf. S and M twister? The Therapist felt self-conscious about his own socks. They were old. He’d have to buy a new pair. He’d never felt self-conscious before. It was because of the stupid sock who just blathered on and on.
   – Well when we got matched back together again the following week I wanted to find out if anything had happened. If it meant anything to her. I mean French Beige, a sophisticated sock. And brand new. I harped on it all week but what else was there to do. We’re folded up inside each other in the dark and what do we have to do but talk. You can’t keep your worries in under those circumstances. And then the following week she was gone and I was thrown on my own to the bottom of the drawer. Grief was compounded by guilt and I spent a lot of time in that little sock-dungeon. 
    -Well Beige I think we’re getting somewhere but once again we’ve run out of time. 
   The Therapist could feel the hole at the back of his sock. Here was a perfectly good sock sitting right in front of him. What if he just grabbed it and put it on. Oh it was tempting. But wouldn’t it be suspicious that Beige had gone into his office and hadn’t come out. His receptionist would wonder. 
   -See you next week then
   Unless he accidentally ran into him in the bathroom just outside his office.
   There was a plan for a perfect little abduction. 



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