Tale of a Berkeley sock

Fabiha Fairooz/Staff

Hi, I’m a Berkeley sock. No, that doesn’t mean I’m covered in blue and gold and have giant C-A-L letters written all over me. It just means that I’m a sock that lives in Berkeley.

Anyway, this past week has been pretty rough for me. Most socks spend their whole lives with one person until it’s their time to go. But I’ve experienced more in this week than one sock should ever have to experience in their lifetime. I mean, we are just socks after all (but, being a Berkeley native, I always tell myself: “No! Never say that! You are more than you think you are!”).

It all started one day when I was sitting in this guy’s laundry hamper. I think the guy was named Josh — Joe, no, Jordan? Something with a J. Either way, let me tell you a little bit about this guy. He lived in this big house that smelled absolutely awful, and he wore these shoes that didn’t even need me. Sperrys, I think they were called. And he wore these awful bright pink shorts that I’d have to get along with often in the hamper. They were the absolute worst.

Well, I was sitting in Jordan’s (?) hamper, and he decided to wash his clothes for the first time in two months. He threw me into the laundry machine and then into the dryer. But when he came back, he didn’t take me out of the dryer! I sat there for a while, days even, until eventually another bad-smelling, Sperry-and-pink-shorts-wearing guy saved me from my metal prison. That was the first stop on my journey.

The new guy (Bob? Billy? Brian? I’ll go with Brian) walked me out of the laundry room and up some stairs, but then got distracted. People were honking outside, so he had to go drink. On the way out, a big gust of wind and rain (I can’t understand why it was windy and rainy at the time when it was also bright, sunny and 70 degrees outside) blew me away from Brian. I flew and flew and landed on someone’s head.

This someone was singing to herself as she walked down the street. She stopped, noticed what a lovely sock I was and picked me up. She told her friend walking beside her that she was “so broke that she literally couldn’t even afford socks anymore,” (Excuse me? Are we socks worthless to human beings? In Berkeley, every living, breathing being matters, from the animals to the plants to the fungi growing in Dwinelle!) and shoved me in the outside of her backpack. She kept walking over toward this huge square where there were lots of tables and people trying to talk to people who didn’t want to talk to them. She stopped at the corner of the square, in front of this big arch (I’m pretty sure I saw a naked person climbing it), and she met up with about seven other people. I had a pretty good vantage point of what was going on.

All of a sudden, the group started singing! Singing! And their instruments were their mouths! It was the most impressive sight I’ve seen in my entire life. Crowds began to form, and the people who were trying to talk to people who didn’t want to talk to them headed our way. They had found a way to corner people and shove paper into their hands.

When the girl was done singing and stopped to pick up her backpack, she swung it around and I fell right out onto the lovely, clean ground (psych! I’m from Berkeley guys, I know what’s up). I was picked up by an old man in the midst of a loud monologue. I’m pretty sure he was chanting “The Lizard King will rise again!” The people around him seemed not at all scared. It was as if they heard people saying those things every day! At that point, I missed Jordan and Brian and their bad-smelling house. I wanted to go home.

In the next moment, I was picked up by a guy wearing a suit. I wondered what he was doing wearing a suit to class, but I didn’t question it. He put me in his backpack, took me home and washed and dried me three times. Then he put me away folded in his neatly organized wardrobe, and through a small crack, I could see his walls. He had pictures of money all over them, along with posters of big companies like Walmart and that pear thing. He also had a pet snake sitting in a cage in the corner, and I immediately leapt back. I was terrified of snakes — both the reptile and human kind.

I’m living here now, and Suit Guy wears me a few times a week for interviews. He goes to so many interviews that I don’t even think he has a social life. He talks about being rich constantly, but no one ever hires him. Suit Guy is really not as fun as Jordan, but I guess this is my life now. Sometimes, Suit Guy insults “Economics majors” and calls them “inferior,” so I’ll just say this: My life is now the “Economics major” of sock lives. 

Contact Esmé Brachmann at [email protected].