Nada Y Pues Nada

published by Eric Mill on

Always one of my greatest feelings of relief and warmth for the last few years has come when my current bar of soap has dwindled to near nothingness, because that means it is time to wash the soap dish.

I usually find out in the shower, with the warm warm water all around. I throw what's left of the soap in the garbage, and take a look at the dish. My soap dish has two parts, the main dish, and the lid. I set the lid apart and turn my focus onto the bottom half. The light of the bathroom becomes more friendly. I forget about everything else and realize that I can just take this time to focus on one attainable and rewarding goal, pleasant to do in a pleasant environment, and there are no greater cares.

I generally wash it simply by rubbing my finger all over the surface, and the white of the soap is gradually worn away in every place until a wet sheen is present all over. I rotate my finger so that my nail does the rubbing to get at the soap in between each ridge of the floor of the dish, one by one. I let it take a while, and I think about nothing else. The water is still very warm, and the room is still well lit. The bathroom door is just a kind of decorative wall.

I flip the dish upside down and get the bottom good and clean. It's usually much easier because it's not actually touching soap, so a few gentle strokes with the flat of my whole finger is sufficient. The top of the dish is somewhere in between, as it has occasional soap contact but nothing consistent. The surfaces are all smooth and the soap wears away very easily. When I'm done, I have a shiny green dish, with many droplets of water suspended on every part of the surface, and if I'm holding the dish in the water, the droplets are being constantly formed and reformed.


  1. fxbx

    Here we go again!

  2. Laura

    This has no relation whatsoever to the previous comments, or indeed to your post, but I wanted to tell you that I saw a copy of Flatland today in a bookstore and bought it ^_^

  3. fxbx

    I read "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place" a long while ago, at the end of middle school while we worked on The Old Man and the Sea, which at the time I thought was the most boring book ever written (but then what 13 year old could appreciate Hemmingway?). However, I didn't recognize the story or the 'nada y pues nada' until I google'd it up, but I did see how the soapdish was like Santiago's fishing ritual. The descriptive details remind me of Robert Pirsig's "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance", when he takes apart and cleans his bike's chain, again nonformal ritual. Oh yeah, my sufficiency was on rituals, so there you go.

  4. Klondike

    That was much appreciated...

    A google search of my title will bring up an awesome short story you may like.

  5. fxbx

    These people be talkin' jive. That was hot.

  6. Katie

    If the other comments haven't made it clear: are you totally nuts?

    But at least now I know just how to clean out your soap dish.

  7. Kyle Del Bonis

    Oh man!

    That got me hard!

  8. Mr. Khouretesoli

    Have you been smoking up in the shower again?