jarOne Hundred Uses

by Ginger Beck

He had used up all of her almond scented shampoo and shaved with her razor until the dullness gave his face a rash. She was slowly fading from his daily life, a sad relief. He’d even used her deodorant, hoping people at work didn’t notice he smelled shower fresh like a woman. The stick was gone now.

Her toothbrush had stared at him every morning and every night, so one evening, after too many shots and in a fit of agony, he threw it in the waste bin. He’d regretted doing that the next morning but refused to dig for it. A man has to have limits.

The only piece of her still remaining was a jar of coconut oil, and he had no idea what that was for. He stared at it for weeks, gently turning the jar on the sink from side to side while brushing his teeth, opening it often to sniff the familiar smell.

Lying sleepless yet again one night, he grasped his phone in the darkness and searched for the product on Google; he was surprised to be rewarded with information on its over one hundred uses.

In the morning he began rubbing it on his elbows. She’d always told him he should drink more water, that his elbows wouldn’t be so dry. He began smearing it on his face after shaving. He fingered small amounts into his nostrils to fight allergies, as suggested. Soon he was using it everywhere: his feet, his hands, his lips. He was saturated with the scent of her.

He globbed it into the skillet before he fried his eggs and stirred fragrant heaps into his coffee. He spread it on his toast, lumped it into his mashed potatoes. Everything around him was full of her again. She was everywhere, everywhere, everywhere.

She was gone.


Ginger is an alternative high school English teacher, a singer in a country-rock band, and a wannabe astronaut. Her most recent other work, “Dancers,” is featured in the March 2015 Foliate Oak.
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