Today on One Year of Letters, I worry about the Sock Man.
The sock man shuffles down the sidewalk, black plastic garbage bag in one hand, packages of new socks in the other. “Socks, socks,” he mumbles. He doesn’t cry his wares loudly like the hat peddler in the story, who matches wits with mischievous monkeys. Rather you can barely hear him. You can tell by his sagging posture and painful gait he’s in poor health. His eyes are rheumy, his tongue coated with white film. If you buy socks from him, he nearly weeps with gratitude, and it breaks your heart.
The sock man has haunted my neighborhood for a decade or more. I’ve bought socks a few times, over the years. The other day I bought a package, paying four times what I’d have paid in a store. A deli owner, outside his shop for a cigarette break, witnessed the exchange and smiled at me as I…
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