Puppetry

Every once in a while I do something to my home care worker. It makes me smile and then I feel guilty.

Every morning a lady comes in to help me with my socks, braces, shoes and coat. I can still manage on my own, but it is certainly easier with help.

I sit on my scooter and turn to face the lady. She lays out the socks, shoes and braces. The socks are always separated. One on her left and one on her right.

She’ll pick up a sock. Say the one on my left. She rolls it up, I put my foot in and she rolls it on. Easy.

But sometimes, when she has picked up the left sock and is rolling it, I’ll lift my right leg instead.

She’ll put down the sock she is prepping and grab the other sock sitting to my right. Every time.

My mind boggles – there is no difference in the socks other than where she has placed them. There is no right and left sock.

The first couple times this happened it was an accident. I wasn’t really watching, groggy with sleep, I lifted the opposite foot.

Since then I’ve done it twice on purpose just to see if the behaviour is consistent. It is.

In some sense the whole footwear process is done at my direction. But it is voluntary and reasoned.

The changing socks is involuntary and instinctive. When I cause it to happen I feel like the pettiest puppet-master in the world.

But I still think it is funny. There is no right and left sock!

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