Friday 8 July 2011

Tales from the Sock Drawer

Infinity is a hard concept to understand. The neverendingness of it all. To be able to go on and on and on without end.

It is especially hard thing to grasp if it is your sock drawer that is infinite.

My sock drawer is in a cheap, originally flat-packed, chest-of-drawers. Not the sort of place you'd expect something metaphysical, I think you'd agree. Infinite sock drawers should only occur in antique furniture of unknown origin, especially those from the far east or Egypt. Not something that arrived in a cardboard box from Argos and was put together with a screwdriver, some glue and a lot of bad language. It was totally normal. There were even bits left over.

Sometimes I forget the nature of the drawer. Months go by and I place socks in it, take socks out and nothing unusual happens. Then I'll get a sock out and it'll be covered in snow. Like it'd been to Narnia. The Lion, the Witch and the flat-packed wardrobe. Or I'd reach in and I'd have a pair of socks where one would be normal Marks & Spencer and the other a rough Scottish tartan. The piper playing in the distance only adding to my unease.

Most nights I feel safer if I tie my dressing gown cord around the handles to keep the draw shut, or prop a chair up against it to jam it closed. I wouldn't want my bedroom to be overrun by the cast of Braveheart whilst I sleep.

I've looked in the drawer with a torch. The light just disappears into the distance. Sometimes I can hear things. Wolves howling, wind blowing and storms raging. Once something crossed the beam of my torch. I wasn't sure what it was, but it had teeth. They glinted in the light. I'm sure it wasn't the cast of a mid-day soap, smiling inanely.

Last week I opened the drawer, and sitting there was a huge pair of wickedly sharp shears. Handy for home defence if you happened to be Michael Myers. I pushed them as far back into the drawer as possible and shut it quickly. I may have lost some socks with them.

Two days later, I got dressed, plucked up courage and went for the sock drawer. Laying the full length of the drawer on top of the socks was an set of edging scissors. The sort with big red handles so you can edge whilst half-standing to feel like a cripple and want to ring bells at Notre Dame within half an hour. Again I pushed them as far back into the drawer as possible. I'm sure I heard a voice say ouch.

Tuesday, I bought a pair of socks. I couldn't bring myself to open the draw.

Wednesday I wore the same pair of socks from Tuesday.

Thursday, I held my breath, opened the draw and fumbled for some socks. I nearly sliced my hand on the business end of a full sized scythe. The sort Death would feel very happy about. I picked up my wooden back scratcher and pushed the scythe back where it came from, grabbed some socks and shut the drawer.

Friday, this morning, I opened the drawer. There was nothing odd there at all. I pulled out a pair of socks, both black. There was no piper droning away in the distance. The socks were nicely tucked together as a pair. As I pulled them apart a small piece of paper fell to the floor. I picked it up, unfolded it and read the note. It said, "Please stop pushing socks into my gardening shed. Kindest Regards, Roth."