Our stall sells homemade soaps and candles. Anise and lavender and rosemary and sandalwood and our favorite, patchouli, among a host of other fragrances. Next to our modest collection jar is a poorly cut piece of soap with pockets of water, a testament of my first botched attempt at soap making. Grotesque, I objected. Memories, you claimed. Let it remind you that separation hurts, you added.
In a beautiful hand you have carved my words into a wooden soap holder for the misshapen bar of soap. It reads If I told you I made soap before, it was a lye. Just as inevitable is the appearance of an old lady that won’t stop haggling so is the couple in love that will ask the price for the soap holder. My response always is that the soap holder is free with the purchase of the soap it holds. You will either elbow me or, if I can stay clear, shush me and say neither the holder nor the soap are for sale.
Long after the greasy food has stopped making us queasy and long after everyone else has packed and left, we stay behind, amongst a few scattered paper plates and other mute witnesses to a day of festivities, lying on the grass, too tired to do anything else, too intoxicated from the lingering smells on each other to be anywhere else.