Wednesday, May 18, 2005

On Soap

I'm not thinking about Simple Object Access Protocols; cripes, the i-net coders have acronymized the whole language.  But that's another subject.  Or it isn't.

Either way, in the shower this morning my mind was on soap nubs.  Tidbits and ends. Thin-worn slices.  Too tiny for sudsing; too large for dropping in the garbage with a clean conscience: a nuisance.  Having pulled a new bar from the cabinet under the sink, I recalled that when we moved to New York last summer, we went from a three-bathroom place to a one-bathroom place, from three showers (even though we only ever used two of them) to one shower.  Consequently, the number of bars of soap dropped in kind, halving from two to one.  One bar of soap now to go with one shower. 

With all washing activity conserved to a solitary bar, the rate of consumption of soap, however, has not dwindled.  In fact, it stands to reason that Ph.--a teenager, physically active, and so on--actually uses more soap than he once did.   And while I won't go into great detail about my own lathering habits, let's just say I find the soap more often in need of replacement.  The new, engraved bars top the soon-washed-away slivers more and more frequently.  We're scrubbing through a whole lot of soap.

Evidence (though an evidence of absence, counterfactual?) we're keeping dirt at bay; that much is good.  Yet I constantly find myself attempting the splice--the manual merger of the fading sliver and the brand new bar, one unsoftened by water and washing, the other nearly exhausted from it.  The convergence usually fails on the first try, and I fumble.  One or the other piece of soap falls, puck-ochets around the tub before settling at the drain.

My grandmother used to (and still might) have a soap-compressing apparatus.  It was rather like a close-ended garlic press.  Into it: bits and ends of soap, all the stubs.  Crimp them together and you produce a fresh bar.  Notch one for resourcefulness.  But me, I keep on fusing the soap pieces by hand, every so often pressing them tight until they bond.  Sometimes the bond breaks; I grab up the evasive bit from resting place near the drain and go again.

Bookmark and Share Posted by at May 18, 2005 11:11 PM to Unspecified