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The soap factory

I used to forget twice a day, once in the morning, once in the evening.

My owner would turn the shower on, sprinkle me with water, take me out of the tiled alcove where I collected dust and memories, and scrub them all away. The curious, furtive searching of ants, the quick landings of flies, the gentle probings of spiders, the drip of condensation: with each scrub along her arms and down her legs I lost the night then, back in the alcove, gathered sand and dust till the evening came and I lost the day again.

Each time she picked me up a part of me vanished until the script of my maker imprinted on my skin had been smoothed away by all my lather, and any part of me that remembered his hands, the factory, the pyramid of soaps I used to live with had gone.

My square ends rounded and my outer layer wore away, and I thought that eventually I would disappear completely and never forget anything again until one evening the shower wasn’t turned on and the next morning I remained in the alcove.

The ants came back, as did the spiders and flies, and I dried and felt dust and sand gather on me like never before. I didn’t forget my owner’s nails when they dug into me the last time she used me or the way I’d fallen to the tiled floor and bounced, leaving a dent on one of my rounded corners.

I remembered the folds of her belly and the hardness of her bones beneath the skin of her arms. I remembered sliding in the alcove when she put me back and the way my lather stuck to the tiles until, one night, the alcove disappeared too and I found myself where I’ve been to this day, covered in more dust and sand and alone in the dark, the earth around me shuddering and pounding.

I bounce and slide and tremble and remember, waiting for her to pick me up again, sprinkle water over my dusty body, and with a few gentle scrubs, once in the morning, once in the evening, help me to forget.

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15 thoughts on “Aleppo Soap

  1. I’m feeling so sorry for this abandoned soap. Lovely description – ‘script of my maker imprinted on my skin had been smoothed away by all my lather.’

  2. An abandoned bar of soap – who would have thought that a bar of Imperial Leather or whatever you use, could have such feelings. I shall take more care of the soap in future.

  3. I kept thinking this was going to be some artisanal soap with Aleppo Pepper in it and it was going to be a story along the lines of Fan Death. Finally got it at the end. Nicely done. Grim.

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