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So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.


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Zanzibar's Reading Room


If Underwear Could Speak
by: Zanzibar

She lay on the bed. Her right sock was hanging halfway off her foot. He seemed as worn out as she was.

"But none of you ever talked to me before" she finally said.

"That is very strange," said the undershirt slowly. "I've been considering that carefully. You see, I remember everything from our life before, back home, but it's like the memory is just worn into my fabric, rather than that I actually lived it."

"I feel the same!" chimed in the scarf. "It's like it only just occured to me in the marketplace that I could speak."

"I think all of you decided you could speak at the same time in the marketplace. Well, except for Left Sock." She blushed a little. "Well, and the underwear. Do underwear speak?" It seemed like such an absurd question for her mouth to form.

"Certainly NOT!" responded her jumper indignantly.

Her scarf giggled insanely and flung its loose end around her neck.
Once again, it was the undershirt who finally answered. "Underwear is alive, but they do not speak."

"But if underwear could speak," interjected the jumper in a dramatic voice, "oh what STORIES they would TELL!"

"Muteness is a fairly common trait in freshly woven cloth, especially certain kinds of cotton and silk, so they take care to make all of this fabric into underwear."

"SHEETS, on the other hand," supplied the jumper, "never shut up. They should have made sheets mute. I heard that the King here sleeps on furs. Furs are definitely dead. Well. They're dead now, anyway." It finished a little sheepishly.

It was fairly tragic, she thought, that mute cloth should be made into underwear. As if muteness wasn't enough tragedy for one life, they had to compound it with such a strange and humiliating station.

"It's not so bad for them," continued the undershirt, seeming to read her thoughts. "Underwear doesn't have to go through the wear and tear that the outside clothes have to go through. Most of them have a very timid demeanor anyway. Some of them aren't timid, though. They prefer to be worn on the head."

The jumper laughed in a hearty sing-song trill. "That's why some pairs always show no matter what you do!"

She lifted herself up on her elbows and looked down at her outfit. A few hours ago it had seemed so comfortable; now it made her feel very strange indeed. The movement made the scarf fall off her shoulder again. It gathered itself and swung back round her neck.
"What about the left sock?" she finally asked. "The left sock never speaks."

Her right sock pulled itself suddenly back onto her foot. "THAT is because she doesn't speak English." he said bluntly.
She was taken aback. She'd never considered the possibility that her sock didn't speak English, but she supposed that there was no good reason to think that a sock would necessarily speak English. "Doesn't speak English!" she exclaimed, "Why is that? I thought that you and she were the same sock!!"
"The same sock!" Right Sock answered very indignantly. "Right. The same sock? A pair?! You thought we were a pair? How can we be a pair! She's navy blue! I'm black!"

"Oh," she replied, looking down at her socks. "I was certain she was black. She looks black to me."
"'She looks black to me'" Right Sock mimicked mockingly. "She's definitely navy blue."
"No she isn't, she's definitely black."
"Go over there, look in the light."
She slid off the bed reluctantly and walked over to the window, where the sun was making its downward arc. The sock was clearly navy blue. She sighed and flopped back onto the bed.
"Fine," she conceded, "Navy blue."
"A pair. She thought we were a pair. She has no idea how to make a suitable outfit." Right Sock muttered to himself loudly.
Left Sock said nothing, though it sort of looked like she might be deep in thought.

When finally the sun set, she crawled beneath the covers. She was still wearing all of her same clothes -as she did not have any others- except her socks, which she had removed and placed several inches apart on the end table at the request of Right Sock, who didn't want to be too closely associated with his temporary mate. Her clothes seemed to be asleep by the way they hung loosely from her body and did not make any sound. Still, as she tossed and turned, trying to get comfortable in this strange bed, in this strange world, after this very strange day, she could not shake the feeling that every time she moved, the sheets were taking the opportunity to whisper amongst themselves.

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