Walking with a dog can provide a nice time for observation and contemplation. That sounds much more positive and constructive than, say, walking a dog can provide a nice time for picking up poop in a flimsy plastic bag that seems semi-porous. So, yes, I try to focus on the observation and contemplation aspect of the morning walk. A lot of my contemplation time is taken up with odd wonderings, like trying to figure out the inspiration for whatever song I seem to be humming or whistling or singing to myself. “Why, for instance, would I find myself humming, “Your Mother Should Know,” an obscure and frankly pretty lame Beatles song? Click here for profound lyrics. Is it that I say, “Let’s all get up” when I get out of bed in the morning? Kind of like I’m talking myself into an upright position? Or is it, instead, that I’m just now realizing that my mother was “born a long, long time ago”? Sorry, Mom. Or is it just that it’s a song from the first album I ever owned (okay, co-owned with my sister)? That would just make it my imprinted walking music. It’s a mystery.
Clearly, I’m not solving the world’s problems on these walks…nor am I really fueling any valuable writing.
Saturday’s walk brought this puzzling question: Why are six or seven pairs of fancy men’s socks strewn across the road on the block next to ours? I didn’t think we were separated by enough geographic distance (three-tenths of a mile) that a cultural difference could be at the root of this phenomenon. On our block, we have been known to set out our trash cans and recycling bins at the end of our driveway. On our block we also used to display our American flag around holidays (before it became a code for making America great again). But we rarely place our laundry in the street or express our loyalties to certain fabric patterns by laying them out on the pavement. Not that I’m judging. It’s just not how we do things over on our block.
I wondered if possibly it was some sort of relationship dispute. You know, the kind where someone’s belongings get tossed out of the window and onto the street. Maybe this wasn’t a major blow up, but just a little tiff, so the offended party just fired a warning shot, like, “Today, it’s your socks, but if you ever throw my sweater in the dryer again, well, let’s just say your Jordans and your All Birds may be flying the coop!”
I like those ideas as possibilities, but I fear that it may be something worse. There have been some transitions on that block, including the sale of one house to some people with New York license plates. I’m concerned that this may have been some sort of sock deal gone bad. The socks were not lined up like an organized display you would expect to see in Connecticut. Nor were they in the vicinity of a window, as one might expect if this were a marital dispute. Rather, they were scattered about the road, indicating that the owner (dealer) had fled the scene in some haste. My wife, against my instincts and advice, had gathered the socks and piled them at the corner of the nearest driveway. She is a native of Connecticut and can’t be expected to shake that her instinct to tidy. While I understood that this would be less upsetting to young children and to those concerned with the affect on property value, I did not want her getting mixed up in some sort of criminal activity.
Today is Monday, or “Day Three” as it has come to be known. I wish I could give some sort of encouraging update or closure to the mystery. Unfortunately, much of the footwear is still lying exposed on the street (with some piled neatly at the end of a driveway). At this point, every sockless pedestrian in our neighborhood has to be viewed as either a potential suspect or potential victim. If there are any further developments, I will be sure to post them. In the meantime, feel free to share this post with anyone who might have information or insights.