Wednesday, April 11, 2012

There's a hole in my sock

Memories. They keep coming back to you like ... memories. (For those of you who may remember her, thanks to the Chicken Lady from the Kids in the Hall for that quote)

This morning I put my heel through a sock while dressing. It's a simple sock - a white ankle sock with a small navy Nike flash around the top. I should just bin it. The problem is, this pair of socks is the only tangible souvenir I have of a brief encounter when I turned forty and went mad for a few months.

After 5 years as a rabbi in the Shenandoah Valley I was lonely. I'd been offered a new contract, but turned it down. Put my stuff in storage, and got a mobile phone. With no plans in mind, I accepted a High Holyday gig in Seattle, and decided to drive there from Virginia. I earned $1800, and kept on driving until it ran out.

It was in San Jose that I met her. Mutual friends invited us out to dinner. She was a cantor, and we bonded through the music of Kurt Weill. We went home together, and I didn't leave the flat for 3 days. Then it was time to go, and I got back in my car and headed East.

That's what I remember. Except for the bits I couldn't possibly write down. The memory may be inaccurate, fraying at the edges during the past nine years; tidied up a bit for brevity or clarity. All that is certain is that she gave me this pair of socks. They were still in a plastic wrapper, and she did not want them washed and returned. I don't remember why I needed them. I just know that each time I put them on I think of her for a moment, and smile.

There's a hole in the heel of one of my socks. I don't want to throw it away although I should. I'm wearing it right now, and I'm smiling.

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