On the porcelain tray above the sink, Randy Tanner keeps a small rubber duck, encased in a square of soap. He stares at it as he brushes his teeth. Only recently one of the painted black eyes became visible through the yellow film. At first, Randy thought he could wash it free if he just used the soap enough. But the cube is hard to handle; it’s not really meant to be used for washing. But each time he showers, a little bit more melts away from the steam. He knows he could cut unto it, have it all done at once.
But he’s afraid of hurting the duck.