Nothing odd will do long
When I was clearing away the clothes horse in my room last night, I came across two odds socks: both blue, but very different shades, the first being the sort of sky-blue that you get on a morning with a light breeze, light clouds and no likelihood of rain. The other was a darker blue, like the blue of a Bic pen. I didn't worry about it much. I don't usually worry about odd socks when I find them, clearing up my drying clothes four or five days after I've taken them out of the washing machine. There's often one without a fellow to make up a matching pair. More than seldom, there's two odd ones left and even three of them may not be my all-time record.
The odd ones turn up in the end, still in the washing machine where they're stuck in the drum, on the stairs where they fell when I first took the damp bundle back to my room, even stuck up the arms of shirts, tangled in the spin and not since extricated from one another. Most likely of all, they're still in with the dirty clothes still waiting to be washed, a comfy pile most of the time and one which, when I was still in Brixton, was one of Guthrum's favourite sleeping spots. I used to let her lie and leave the washing till the next day. I would willingly forego three-quarters of my wardrobe - such as it is - if it would increase in any way the comfort of a sleeping cat.
I assumed they were most probably still part of the pile, and didn't worry about it. For a second. And then I had a bad thought, and looked downward, towards the floor, towards my shoeless feet.
I was wearing two socks, both of them blue, one of them a sort of sky-blue and the other one a rather darker shade.
I am thirty-nine years old.