Saturday, April 9, 2016
The Englishman and the Soap (Part I)
"How did I, uh..."; and then a start, leaning forward with one hand on one arm of his spectacles, considering. "I was just...and now there's just so much, so many!" But don't let the exclamation mark fool you, he is whispering to only himself. Ruminating on it all, all that very much, that so many, swirling and swishing about him; or perhaps within him, his mind as it bowls him over.
A suit is what he wears, with bits of white underneath. Perhaps a shirt - but he is not concerned with that right now. There is something pressing, quite hard, against his intellect. If you have ever seen a very furrowed brow, imagine now a brow that is nothing but furrow. One could plant seeds in those furrows, those deep lines, and surely in a cycle of the seasons, whatever it may take, one could observe the reaping soft what they had sewn.
"If it was just...just a little less, I could make it out. But no, no there is such quantities here; such immensity of content. I simply...cannot..."
And all of a sudden - in fact, just a-suddenly as there appeared an Englishman - there comes a bar of soap, tattling along from out of nowhere, almost literally. It is a plain bar of soap, unused. There are no markings on the soap's surface, no brand names or indented images. Just a bar of soap.
But with eyes, a nose and a mouth. Of course.
The soap rambles up to the Englishman, as though steering slightly off course to pay heed to this odd curiosity, huffing and figuring under his breath, here in the middle of a white-lit abyss.
The soap speaks with an Irish accent, a voice that sounds like something you'd imagine in a Celtic fairytale, "Hello there, sir. What a curiosity you seem to be, here, in thus white-lit abyss, talking under your breath like that. Did you need some, uh, directions?"
Not exactly startled, the Englishman looks up from his mind-wanderings and addresses the soap cordially, but distractedly.
"Hmm? No uh, hmm. No I am just sorting the, uh...the vast numbers of it, the uh..."
"Of it?" the soap interrupts, wisely discerning that the man will banter on ceaselessly without some kind of intervention. "What is it, sir? Are you trying to count something?"
At this point the extra stimulus somewhat baffles the Englishman's already busy mind and he places an awkward hand on his hat and leans to the side, his eyes sort of darting about, left and right, blinking rapidly in apprehension. The soap leans in closer, squinting at this strange spectacle.
The soap tries to ease the situation, contnuing, "Ah but of course, my friend. Aren't we all, eh?" And the soap chuckles a bit, though a bit forced, too. It becomes a little self conscious at this effort, laughs a nervous laugh and then, seeing the Englishman has returned to his initial state of muttering and concomitant body language, returns to its relaxed state of approach.
The man continues, "At first there were one, two...no, forty. There were forty-five. And no there are countless of them, and they're each so many also...so much so that if I add the first ones to the second of them there seem to be - " and so on and so forth.
The soap has, meanwhile, been bending its knees and sort of pacing about with its body language. I mean, it was just passing by, but now it seems to have gotten a little involved. As though there many be something it is obliged to do here.
"Would you like a bit of a clean, then?" it asks the Englishman, timidly.
Silence. The man has stopped, apparently taking note of the question.
"Yes," he says. "I think, in fact, that is exactly what I need."
The soap, of course, is slightly taken aback.