Dressing in the Dark
A Short Story by Jason Moore
Written using the suggestion "Huey"
Originally featured on 05-07-2008
As part of our series "Three For Violence (Violent Threesomes)"

It’s up at 7:11 a.m.; take the blue pill then the red ones, put both feet on the floor by 7:13; urinate without touching myself, and striking only water—no porcelain—while minimizing sidesplash, by 7:15; put the snake in his daytime cage by 7:18; touch each corner where the ceiling and walls meet, in a clockwise order, starting at true north, by 7:30; undress, de-soil and deflate Julianne enough that she fits under the bed by 7:45; call the desk to see what’s for breakfast, shed a few crocodile tears for farmers in Uganda, lament the lack of good taxidermists and leather tanners in my area by 7:55; and so on.

As you can see, there are so few surprises in my life these days that I have no option but to dress in the dark. They won’t allow me to have windows, so it’s pretty easy to achieve Condition Black. Besides, it’s a good way to keep my skills sharp in case of a giant eel attack or worldwide panic brought on by a cheese shortage. I’m like a Marine sharpshooter who can dismantle, clean, and make love to his gun in any condition, in any position, at a moment’s notice.

Getting dressed in the dark really isn’t as hard as it sounds. The pants are pretty straightforward, so major catastrophes and injuries rarely occur except the morning after Pina Colada and Squeegee Theatre night at Betsy’s. And concerning button-up shirts, well, you can rest assured that with all my training I can determine their spatial orientation fairly easily. Besides, I have each garment’s color memorized as a result of Project Deep Closet, as well as each unique texture, so I can tell Tom Tiny Tuesday, the light blue button down with yellow stripes, from Sheila Sunday Super, the black silk puffy shirt possessed by animal spirits, without breaking a sweat. The undershirts and sweaters pose a pretty big challenge however, but I’ve spent quite a few hours feeling the fabrics and coming up with little tricks, like lightly running my fingers along the edges of the collars and smelling them in the arm and elbow pits while grunting, so really those aren’t too much trouble on a good day. They are designed with a front and back in mind, so unless I’m really in a hurry I notice the tugging on my neck when I put them on wrong.

It’s really the socks—those insidious minions of the ambiguous unisex movement advanced by those braless young feminists with an androgynous polysexual undertone, that cause most of the trouble. I realize that it’s not spoken of in polite society, but it’s so obvious I can’t believe I’m the only one thinking about the whole grand conspiracy, and all those braless young girls bouncing all over the place and hugging each other and skinny dipping in the morning in cool rainforests streams, all-the-while poo pooing timeless family footwear values that have made this country what it is today.

I swear there should be a national movement to make socks directionally unambiguous. If I were a politician you know I’d be running on that platform, baby! I mean, once we fix that problem we’d have a lot more time to focus on using less paint and spaying and neutering wild mice. Maybe we could have brail bumps that convey basic information on the outside top edges? Just think what a great world it would be if, by law, size, color, and inside and outsideness were clearly marked on every sock? (There really should be a word that refers to whether something is right side or inside out, like “sidality,” which would be used when discussing a sock. It would help us avoid clunky sentences like, “Are your socks inside or right side out?” Instead you could just say, “Are your socks sidally normative?” Star Trek conventions would never be the same.

That’s pretty much it. And besides, not that I’ve abandoned my goal to be emperor of Iceland I’m a lot like you.

Read More By Jason Moore

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