Day 266: Soap story

Soap stars.

Soap stars.

Okay, now you’re going to think I’ve lost my good-deedin’ mind.

I was walking along downtown on this fine Friday the 13th, humming along to myself, and I spotted a down-on-his luck guy I’ve seen before.

He’s a middle-aged First Nations man who, at 6 p.m. on a Friday, can usually be found sitting on the sidewalk in front of Roy Thomson Hall. He sets up a box as a sort of product display where he positions, in even rows, little carvings he makes out of white bars of soap.

I’ve passed him many times, but never stopped before for some reason. Today, I decided to buy one of his carvings but wasn’t sure how much he charged.

So I stopped and fished through my purse for a loonie and a $2 coin and walked up to his “store.” All the carvings appeared identical, although I didn’t look at them very closely. The carver was hunched over his work, whittling intently, his hood pulled up over his head to block the cold breeze.

There was a smaller box in front that held a few coins and I realized it was a “pay what you can” operation. I stood for a second taking this all in. He looked up just as I dropped the coins in the box. Our eyes met and he said, “Please, take an angel.”

It suddenly hit me. He’s carving angels. Rows of soap angels.

That thought pierced my heart somehow. I burst into tears. I’m not exactly sure why. The most powerful inexplicable feeling came over me. I couldn’t explain it then. I can’t explain it now.

I just knew that I needed to leave the angel … maybe for him….

P.S. Beautiful song, enjoy!

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