Finding the Perfect Pair

I prefer order to chaos. All the way back to childhood, I’ve held a predilection for making sure everything is just right and predictable. A comes before B, so if something’s an A, it should be put before B. But for some reason, this urge for order has stopped at the edge of my sock drawer. My sock drawer has always been a place where I’m content with sifting through the tangled ball of brown, black and white chaos each morning to find a matched pair.

I can imagine each sock as a different emotion, stress or demand in my life, interwoven to such an extent that’s hard to decipher where one stops and the other begins. Each morning, I have the choice to pick two that appear compatible, put them on my feet, and walk around in them. Sometimes the morning light is deceptive, and I’ll end up with an unmatched pair that clash with each other all day.

My sock drawer may be reflection of the life that few get to witness, a life that I can hide from view by gently shutting the drawer and going about my day, while I try to create a false sense of order on the visible fringe. There must be over one hundred socks in the drawer, but I only wear two at a time. Even then, the socks are shielded by shoes and pants, only visible when seen from certain angles.

But perhaps there is something more lurking in the chaos of my sock drawer. The chaos may be the only way we can see all the possibilities. Each time a clean batch of socks is dumped in the drawer and introduced to the mix, the potential for combination is reset. If the socks were lined up in perfect rows according to color and size, each matched in a predetermined way, the options are instantly limited.

I might lose the chance of finding the perfect pair.

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