Today I gave up hope; hope that I would ever see the mates of the socks that I keep tucked away at the corner of the sock drawer. Why had I kept them these many years?
I was like the father of the prodigal son who scanned the horizon of his fields each morning and night hoping to catch sight of his son returning home.
As each new basket of clean clothes returned from the laundry room I looked through them hoping against hope that I would find the wayward socks that had lept out of the washer and journeyed the world in search of a better sock life. And finding none, they returned home, flinging themselves into the clothes basket asking for forgiveness.
Where do these socks go? Some have suggested that the dryer is a portal to a parallel universe where socks rule and humans are worn and thrown away. And once a sock enters it never returns.
More practical people suggest that socks, full of static, cling to bed sheets or clothes and find their way into dark closets or shelves and lay there for years; hearing their owners walking around calling their names but never responding.
The sad statistics are that the longer a sock is missing the more likely that it will never return. Quick, decisive action is imperative. The first 24 hours are crucial. The entire house must be mobilized. Clear communication is vital. A detailed description must be compiled. A timeline has to be hammered out. And even if these things are done, there is no guarantee.
And so, today, I took the pile of mates out of my sock drawer and put them into a box and put the box into the attic. I am sure that if I look in the attic tomorrow they too will be gone. Free at last to wander.