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Saturday, July 9, 2011


I have a mental disorder related to socks.

When I lose a sock, a part of my mind gets lost with it. I just can't wrap my mind around this phenomenon. What black hole in my universe sucks it in? I don't feel any special energy lurking between my bedroom and my washing machine, yet, once in a while, an invisible evil spirit manages to coerce a sock of mine into total oblivion. Until then, everything in my life seems to go perfectly well; no major crisis looms in the air, no unresolved issue nags me during sleepless nights, everyone important to me is alive and healthy, the stock market is moving in the right direction, and then, out of the blue, I lose a sock.

My daughter has heard about my disorder from her father, who had seen me more times than I care to admit, frantically looking for a missing baby sock he had failed to bring back from the Laundromat. No matter how small and insignificant that sock might have been, my reaction to its disappearance can only be described as psychotic.

Eliya thinks I'm crazy.

I pretend not to care. Until I lose a sock I really care about. Like a tabi sock – one of those Japanese socks that can be worn with flip-flops (pic above). I wear tabi socks when I perform with my Taiko drumming group. It's a part of my "uniform."

I have only one pair of tabi socks so I feel very attached to it. This pair is unlike any other pair of socks I wear. It is used only on very special occasions. So when I discovered that one of my black tabi socks disappeared into the black hole of all lost socks, my world came tumbling down. I lacked the proper psychological tools to cope with the loss; neither did I have the familial support system to help me overcome the trauma.

I asked Eliya to help me look for my lost black tabi sock. She immediately announced that I could not blame her for the loss because she did not do the laundry. I took full responsibility and turned the house upside down in a desperate search. But to no avail. The sock seemed to have resettled in a different dimension; one of those elusive dimensions only string theory physicists can locate or at least imagine.

In my desperation, I told Eliya I would give her a lot of money if she would find the sock. (I will not disclose the amount because this can provide legal grounds for immediate hospitalization). Eliya's eyes lit up at the thought. But it didn't help her find the sock. (She was also beginning to consider to "disappear" other socks and make a fortune, but I preempted the thought and said I would only pay for that specific sock).

After several days, I called off the search and adopted a primitive, unchecked blind faith. I became a firm believer that one day the lost tabi sock would come back to me. I knew it was not destined to remain in purgatorial limbo of all lost socks. It was coming back to me, if only for my firm belief and strong faith that it would come back. I will will it back and it will manifest itself. To me!

And so one morning it did. At the most anti-climatic mundane life instant. I opened the socks drawer, pulled a black pair out, and there it was, rolled up next to another unprivileged, ordinary black sock. Just like that.

I guess my faith convinced that tabi sock that not all socks were doomed. Some socks were destined for greatness. Some socks were destined to return. To me!

Now I know, it is all in the attitude.

The attitude of the sock, I mean. Not mine...

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