Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Soap Guy

His name is Prince. He has a small shop in Santa Cruz where he sells soap and candles, garden ornaments and angels, all kinds of pretty things. But mostly soap. Mostly French soap, when it comes to that. I love to go into his store and smell the soap, all beautiful botanical fragrances. He also frequently wears a beret, and he carries it off very well. It looks so natural on him, in fact, that I didn't stop to think about it until after I knew that he spends a lot of time in France (well, a lot for an American) where he does some business, shares a ownership of a small pied-à-terre with friend, and sings in a jazz cafe. It amazes me how many stories are tucked away in that small soap shop.

Maya and I first stopped by when we had some time to kill while Ziad was in a class. Prince was friendly and charming, and to top it off, he gave us some soap. Free soap! Beautiful free soap! Of course we went back next week. Since then, we've gone back almost every week. He doesn't usually give us free soap any more, although he does sometimes for special occasions like Mother's Day. He's always friendly and interesting to talk to, though. For a long time, Maya didn't consider her day in Santa Cruz complete unless she had said hello to the soap guy. Even now, when we've found a lot of things to do on our day over the hill, and are often in a rush to pick Ziad up, we still make it into his shop almost every week.

I love the nooks and crannies of this world, and all the surprising, interesting people who inhabit them.


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