The Bar of Soap

After being created, boxed, wrapped and put into a case with dozens of similar bars of soap, off to a grocery store it goes.

Sitting sometimes for days, or weeks, on a long, cold, metal shelf with other bars of soap, many similar, many others very different. Knowing that one day it will get picked up by housewife who wants it.

Tossed into a shopping cart with all the other groceries. Squeezed between a big hunk of beef and a box of tampons, rattling along the aisles as the shopper seeks more items to toss into the cart, often on top of the bar of soap.

Slid across the scanner and into paper or plastic it goes, back into the cart amongst other bags of groceries.

It’s dark in the bag as the bar of soap heads off to yet another unknown destination. The box of tampons and a tube of toothpaste bouncing all over the bar of soap.

The feeling of weightlessness is somewhat unsettling as the bags are picked up, carried into the house and dropped on the countertop. Then someone grabs the bar of soap and carries it off.

Next it is being tossed under the bathroom sink with lots of unusual items. It’s the first time the bar of soap has ever been with a hair dryer, electric razor, hair spray, toilet paper or Old Spice deodorant.

Again, for days or weeks on end the bar of soap sits, being ignored or worse yet brushed away as a hand reaches in to get another item. Dark and quiet, except what likely is early morning or late evening as the bathroom is being used by someone. The rest of the time, not a sound as if no one is home.

Then the day arrives. The bar of soap is plucked from the cabinet, its wrapper and box torn off and tossed into a trashcan. Whoever this person is, they are completely naked as they sniff the bar of soap, say “Ahhh,” as they walk off to the shower, bar of soap in hand.

Now, the routine is quite different each morning.

Someone turns on the shower. They step in, grab the bar of soap and attack it with a wash cloth.

Each day the bar of soap looses some of itself from the assault of the washcloth. Each day a little more of the bar of soap goes down the drain, never to be recovered.

Eventually the bar of soap has been depleted so much that there is little to none left.

If the frail, thin, nearly depleted bar of soap is lucky, it will be united with a brand new, fresh bar of soap. It will ride the back of the new bar of soap, until its last moment.

Or, if the bar of soap is less fortunate, it may end up in a pile with other depleted bars of soap. Sitting in a soap dish as someone uses them up completely at the bathroom sink.

Worse than either of these possible fates, it is not unlikely that when the bar of soap reaches its end, it will be simply tossed into the trash.

The bar of soap knows it’s fate. The day it is created, boxed and wrapped, it knows that its life is short lived and it will never be remembered afterwards. Another bar of soap will take its place with no celebration.