weekend whimsy: a very short story

Thanks to Meghan Gottschall for sharing this #inspirational #aspirational #motivational meme.

day 1
Pair socks.
Realise that many have holes.
Sort out a few pairs to take you through this week, and give up on the rest.

day 2
Segregate socks with holes.
Weep for the socks that are now thus separated.
Create a further pile, comprising widowed socks.
Photograph every sock and sort them, virtually, into a spreadsheet. Consider building a database. Decide against it but add that to your List Of Possible Future Ideas note, and share the idea with all friends who live in buildings with communal laundry facilities,

day 3
Look up videos about darning socks.
Make list of necessary materials. Tick off “socks” on that list.
Go out for scheduled daily fresh air: buy groceries and also darning and general sock-maintenance, mending, and knitting supplies.

day 4
Open computer. Find that you lost track of the videos.
Start again, keeping a record of them this time.

days 5-6
Catalogue your collection of sock-darning videos. Continue to add to it, while also starting watching them as least so as to reject some.
Day 6: multitask by doing laundry, thereby adding to the sock-piles. Because all of your socks are currently in the laundry or in a sock-pile, you are now barefoot. Highlight of the day: barefoot exercises using those anti-static in-lieu-of-fabric-softener drying balls from tumble drier.

day 7
Your scheduled Day Of Rest.
Consider trimming your toenails, decide to add that to tomorrow’s to-do list as it is technically “an activity” rather than “rest.”

day 8
The day after Day Of Rest is always the busiest day of the week, no matter when your Day falls or by which social/cultural/religious convention. Major administrative task: writing this week’s To Do List.
Trim toenails.
Write and publish blog post about your curated collection of sock-darning videos.
Congratulate yourself on your #productivity.
Consider posting about it on all your social media accounts.
Cogitate considerably.
Reflect that the high risk of #AmITheAsshole outweighs the slight chance of #inspirational #strength #bebest #myhero #validation. Remember that you also have actual friends. Imagine how they would react. Realise that the following are not just probable but certain: derision, irritation, fury, and/or total loss of friendship. Resist the temptation. Congratulate yourself, privately, on your self-control and impeccable rationality. Fulfilled but tired out by your exertions, go to bed early.

days 9-10
Well rested, you get up early.
Sort your socks that need darning: categorised by type and location and extent of hole.

days 11-12
Watch your sock-darning video collection and delight in its glory.

day 13
Start darning socks.
Realise that none of the darned socks have mates. This is weird, as they did before. Consult notes from days 1-2.
Wonder if what already felt like an alternate reality is changing daily, you’re now in a different world, in an SF story; accessed through sock-sorting, with those holes turning socks into wormholes.
Have existential crisis.
After a moment’s silence, feel embarrassed because no Higher Powers smote you. Feel sheepish as you’d been glaring at the socks and then worrying that they would suddenly turn into animated sock-puppet sock-monsters. The birds are still singing outside, so we’re probably OK.
Decide to unravel all the socks, mix up all the yarn, and knit it up into socks that all thereby match each other and no-one.
Realise that this is a grand existential metaphor and allegory of renovation as innovation; make copious notes—on that metaphor and on remembering to watch online videos about knitting—and congratulate yourself on having started to draft next week’s To Do list ahead of schedule.

day 14
Your scheduled One Day’s Rest.
Have a bath.
Paint your toenails.
Clean the bath.
Clean your bath-cleaning materials.
Clean your bath-cleaning-materials’ cleaning materials.
Contemplate how far this infinite regress might go.
(Make a mental note to reread all of Russell Hoban’s novels, starting with “The Mouse and his Child,” which was the first place that you met this idea, and that that was some thirty-seven years ago. Contemplate time. Have a moment of wandering wonder.)
Recollect yourself.
Realise that this regress is not infinite. It is finite, and its last step is washing your hands.
Wash your hands.

day 15
Operation Sock-Reknitting begins.

“The Mouse and his Child” is one of the few books that have accompanied me in every move, of many, over the last 30 years. I love this book. I hope that you do, or will, too.

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