Finished off the can of shaving cream yesterday. It's odd the markers we use in our life. I don't shave every day, or even every other day, and I sure don't use a lot of shaving cream when I do, so a can lasts me a long time. I squeezed the last dribble of foamy soap onto my hand, dropped the can into the wastebasket and tried to remember when I'd bought it. Was it at the same time I'd bought that sonic (or perhaps supersonic, I don't pay much attention to dentistry) toothbrush for my then wife? Meaning that this shaving cream was more than two years old? Possible. Very, very possible. (I really don't get around to dealing with my beard as often as I should, and sometimes I'm at the Y and use plain soap.)
I thought about all that's changed since I bought the light blue can with the generic logo and advertising descriptor. (They describe the product as GOOD! Maybe that was what persuaded me to buy it) Lots, is the answer. The book I was beginning to write at that time is out, the one after it is coming soon. I'm living in a different place, with a different car (and two other cars in between -- not that I'm usually this much of a butterfly, flitting and sipping from one car to another, but I had a bad stretch there with an accident and lemons from the dealer). My then wife is my ex wife, or soon to be. My older kids are on their way out of high school and the youngest is on his way out of public school. (Note to self: write faster!)
Staring at the mirror, holding the left side of my jaw to shave the tricky bit, I experienced a momentary pang. That can in the wastebasket was a link with the past, the me from two years ago with a whiter smile, darker hair, and more money in the bank. I could almost understand the obsessive pack rats, who hang on to all the outmoded bits of themselves. (Almost. I am still very much a flinger away and marcher forward.) There's so much of me in the can with the GOOD label. It's not the same with razors or coffee beans, which I replace every few days. Or dentist appointments which I keep forgetting to make. Olympiads or World Cups would fit this idea, I guess, but I tend not to watch them.
I wonder where I'll be when I throw out my next can of shaving cream? Everything will be older. I can't imagine all the changes, good and bad. (At least my forehead will look the same. Thank heavens for Botox.)