THE SOAP DISH IN HIS GIRLFRIEND’S BATHROOM LEANS AT A FORTY-FIVE DEGREE ANGLE

THE SOAP DISH IN HIS GIRLFRIEND’S BATHROOM LEANS AT A FORTY-FIVE DEGREE ANGLE
Kate LaDew

     A white film of soap coats the exposed side, wet and soft.  Antoine tips it back level when he notices.  He always notices.  Every night he comes over.  Washing his hands, taking a shower, brushing his teeth. Antoine notices.  Every time he tips it back level.  Every return trip, the soap dish in his girlfriend’s bathroom leans at a forty-five degree angle.  Lean, tip.  Lean, tip.  He squeezes toothpaste onto the motorized spinning brush.  Lean.  Tip.  He completes the first go-round, mouth grainy.  Lean.  Tip.  He prepares the brush for the final rinse.  Lean.  Tip.  Five seconds of flossing.  Lean.  Tip.  Mouth wash scalding his tongue, thirty seconds of hell.  Lean.  Tip.  When he repeats the process the next morning, every morning, it is automatic.  His brain is programmed.  It is beginning to consume him.
     He tries talking about it.  Watching a show about the Epicureans and the fun no one has had since, Antoine talks about it.
     Your soap dish is at a forty-five degree angle.
     You measured?
     It is all his girlfriend says.  It infuriates him.  Antoine begins yelling, accusing.
     You leaned the soap dish at a forty-five degree angle the first day you met me.  It was a test.  A sadistic, mean-spirited test.
     His girlfriend is crying.  She thinks he’s suddenly crazy.  It is terrifying to them both.  After she throws a bowl of extra large M&Ms at him, Antoine leaves.  He slams the door on his own house, his own bathroom.  Glares at the soap dish.  It gazes back levelly.  Antoine rips it from the wall.
     The soap dish in his ex-girlfriend’s bathroom still leans at a forty-five degree angle.  He’s certain of it.  The soap dish in his bathroom hangs obtusely.  When Antoine washes his hands, takes a shower, brushes his teeth, he notices.  He tips it back level.  Every time.

©2012 This work is the property of the author.

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  1. I like this piece of short fiction from Kate LaDew. It’s funny and knowing and she writes with an impressive economy.

  2. I like it too, it’s such a funny thing to get worked up about, a soap dish, and yet people do I guess. It’s well written and concise.

  3. A moving poem without bathroom humor, soapy drama or just dishy comedy but with a social surrealistic situation that moves us as a cleanser or bar soap that throws us and showers us
    with a language commensurate in a fine body of work.

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