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November 08, 2003
The single Right sock and some thoughts about strings, the internet and shoes that Germans wear on their hands.

Really wanted to mention it earlier, yet there was never really a right moment, and now maybe is the wrong moment too, but it appears to me that for some reasons the Right socks are the better survivors, or maybe they are the ones who just want more stability, the ones who return to the drawer, who want to flock. Left by their Left socks, they are the Right socks, but yet they are left behind. (that does not sound right.) What I mean, I have half a drawer of paired up right socks can you believe that?
How do I know the difference between my Left and the Right socks? I like to wear so called Runner Socken, manufactured by a very excellent company from Germany, Falke. The thing about runner socks is that they are fitted for their particular foot and that they have not only the shape but also a little red letter on their noses. The right socks carry an R, the left ones an L.
I do not wash my socks myself, the friendly laundry place across broadway does an excellent job in my absence. It is quite fascinating to find new combinations of socks after each and every wash. It appears that the right socks are more now (the ratio is maybe 2:1 or something like that). They like to hang out together, they come back paired couples... how odd. Left socks like to go missing, they just disappear, they seem to wander off, they leave.
One special pair, that was a so called "walking" Socken pair, a slightly thicker kind of socks, actually never even made it into the wash. The Left sock left the Right sock before they even got to go down and around the block and into the laundry place. It is a truly odd little event and observation. They are obviously made for each other, there is no doubt about it. They are very different than all the other Left/Right socks, they never even get to go to the laundry place, where they could possibly get lost while having really close encounters with other socks or pants or who knows what... and still. The L sock leaves. The R sock possibly feels completely useless... sad and tired and really out of place.

Let's talk about what Germans call "Handschuhe", hand-shoes... the English word for that is... gloves...
When I was a boy, I used to lose my gloves at a higher rate than the Polish economy could possibly manufacture them. It was quite odd as well. How could one lose a glove or mitten. It was not like I had to take one off to sign some treaty or document of capitulation. One mitten would always get lost. I imagined it alone, somewhere, in the snow...
My parents eventually connected my mittens with a special, semi elastic string. The string was long enough to go right through one sleeve of my jacket, behind my back and through the other sleeve. Even if I took off one of the mittens, the other mitten would still hold on to it via a very primitive model of the internet. (Smart mitten, dumb network, remember? A telephone network would be a mitten with two strings.)
Maybe such a string could possibly be an idea for my socks, now that I am older, and can dress myself? I could attach my socks to a string that would go up one pant leg and down the other, connecting the Right one with the Left, making them a unity forever without them having to be attached by the hip.
Just a thought... and i wonder how comfortable or how silly this would feel. (Should I possibly patent it, would I like the friction?)

My problem with the Right walking-sock the one left behind is far from being solved, of course. I still somehow hope to find the left sock, lonely, somewhere in the wash. (Probably busy chatting with the other socks?)

Socks seem to really enjoy it being united by their necks, don't they? It is as if their union created a model for our multidimensional universe. And maybe it does? Could we be onto something here? The universe could be like two matching socks, connected with the perfect string.
(I bet this whole trackback thing does not work for me, so yes, I was reminded of the issue by a much better post by Shauny.)

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