dangerous pleasures of domestic love

gabriel garcia marquez told a story about a soap, in his 'love in the time of the cholera'..

it began with routine simplicity, dr urbino had returned from bathroom and begun to dress in the dark.. he referred himself as 'a man who dress in the dark'.. he did that because he didn't want his wife, fermina, to be awake in early morning, eventhough he knew she only half-sleeping.. the reason is he never needed her to be awake as much as he did during his fumbling moments.. so dr urbino knew she was waiting for his slightest sound, and after a prolonged sound of starched linen, in the darkness, he said to himself..

"I've been bathing for almost a week without any soap."

then, fully awake, she remembered, and tossed, and turned in fury, because in fact she had forgotten to replace the soap, which she had noticed its absence three days earlier, and the truth was that a week had not gone by, as he said to make her feel more guilty, but the unpardonable days, and her anger at being found out in a mistake maddened her. as always, she defended herself by attacking.

"well I've bathed every day," she shouted, beside herself with rage, "and there's always been soap."

although he knew her battle tactics by heart, this time he could not abide them. so he went his busy life, returning home only to change his clothes before making his evening house calls. while she headed for the kitchen when she heard him come in, pretending that she had something to do, and stayed there until she heard his carriage in the street. this went on for the next three months. he was not ready to come back as long as she refused to admit there had been no soap, and she was not prepared to have him back until he recognized that he had consciously lied to torment her.

each time they tried to resolve the conflict they only inflamed their feelings even more. at last he proposed that they both submit to an open confession, with the archbishop, so that God can decide whether or not there had been a soap. then despite of all her self-control, she lost temper with a historic cry,

"to hell with the archbishop!"

realizing she had gone too far, she threatened to move back to her father's house. the truth is she really did want to leave, and her husband realized this in time. he did not have the courage to defy his own prejudice, and he capitulated. not in the sense that he admitted there had been a soap in the bathroom, but soinfar he continued live in the same house with her, but in separate room, and he did not say a word to her.

so he got the study room with no bathroom. they would often arrive at the bathroom at the same time, then they took turns brushing their teeth before going to sleep. one night, after four months, he lay down on their double bed to read until she came out of the bathroom., and he fell asleep. she came out and lay down beside him in a way so that he would wake up and leave. but instead, he turned out the light and settled himself on the pillow. she shook him by the shoulder to remind him that he supposed to go to the study room, but it felt so comfortable to be back in his great-grandparents featherbed that he preferred to capitulate.

"let me stay here," he said. "there was soap."

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