I woke up, groggy as usual. Pulling myself from bed I underwent my morning routine. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary at first. Why would it have? My toothbrush was still the same toothbrush I’d had for the last two years. My shower still couldn’t reach a satisfying medium between too hot and too cold. Even my slippers seemed to be exactly the same. Nothing was the same though.
I just didn’t realise it until I opened my sock drawer.
It was filled with underwear. I assumed I was simply still suffering from morning amnesia; I had clearly opened the wrong drawer. The next drawer was also filled with underwear. I checked the entire dresser, the wardrobe, the laundry basket. There were no socks to be found.
I didn’t know what happened to me while I was sleeping, but I had somehow entered a world without socks.
After I was satisfied that there were no socks anywhere in my house I decided it was time to put my shoes on and go get me some socks. Wearing shoes barefoot is not pleasant, as I’m sure you know. My naked skin was pressed up directly against the shoe interior. Feet are not supposed to be subjected to this sort of environment. I soldiered on, convinced that it would be only minutes before I reached a sock dispensary and could entomb my leg ends in cotton and polyester solitude.
I must have circled the department store a dozen times trying to find their sock section. There wasn’t even anything resembling a sock. There were no tights, no legwarmers, no Christmas stockings (though it was March, so I guess that last one was to be expected).
I enquired with the staff as to where they kept their socks. They didn’t understand what I was talking about. Most thought I was asking about “stocks”. One employee thought I had said “Spock” and proceeded to make a ham-fisted Star Trek reference that made it pretty clear he had seen little, if any, of the shows or movies.
After my failed excursion to the city’s clothing vendors I moved my search online. It was only when I found that Amazon did not have a single sock for sale that I truly realised my predicament. I was tempted to purchase the 40 piece socket set that it suggested, but I resisted the impulse and jumped to Wikipedia.
Wikipedia, the source of truth in modern civilization, concluded that socks were not a thing and they never had been. I even checked the history page to see if it had perhaps been deleted by a truth vandal.
I was unstuck in space-time. I did not belong in this place. They were all going about their days sockless, not knowing what they could have. What did these people hang over their fires at Christmas? What did they fill with small change to beat enemies with? How were children entertained and/or terrified by cheaply made puppets?
What about beloved RTÉ Den character Socky?
It was then, after three hours of sockless hell, that I decided something had to be done. These people didn’t know it but they were living in a nightmare – a foot-sweat nightmare. I was going to wake them up.
I returned to Amazon and, once more, eluded the draw of the socket set. Instead I ordered supplies. Awaiting their delivery I returned to Wikipedia to learn the secrets of knitting. Within days the wool arrived; within weeks I had mastered a basic stitch. It wasn’t to be long until the first sock was complete and I was this world’s hero.
Eventually I completed my first sock. I looked proudly upon it, albeit briefly. Then my house began to quiver. The lights flashed off and on. I was hit suddenly from all angles, like I was punched in the face and had my legs swept from under me. When I hit the ground it was soft.
Soft like socks.
I righted myself and looked around. There was socks. Socks everywhere. Nothing but socks, in fact. It seems the sockless world I awoke in had been my world all along. It simply ejected all socks overnight to this place. When I created my prototype sock it cast the woolen foot covering out and me along with it.
So I live with the socks now. It’s just me, billions of socks and of course beloved RTÉ Den character Socky.