Duane's first day at Folsom Prison passed uneventfully. He was assigned a cell and he met his cellmate; he learned the prison chow routine from going through the line to choosing the proper place to sit; even the exercise yard, while scary, didn't seem to be as dangerous as he had feared, since the various groups kept to themselves.
But there are defining moments in a man's life and for Duane, shower time was destined to be one. The procedure called for him to strip completely naked and then walk into the open shower area. He did and the first thing he noticed, strangely enough, were the stacks of unopened bar soap on the ledge that circled the entire shower area. The second thing he noticed were the twelve slick and shiny naked bodies of the men showering. They all turned and looked at him as he entered. His self-consciousness left him as he opened a bar of soap and began lathering up.
A big well-muscled black man resumed his story, which was a funny retelling of the robbery that led to his incarceration. Laughter filled the shower room and Duane began to feel like he may survive his four year sentence after all.
But then it happened: His soap squirted out of his grasp and slid across to the middle of the showroom floor near the drain. He instinctively moved to pick it up but caught himself when he realized how suddenly quiet the room had become and how every pair of eyes was trained on him. He looked from one man to the next for a sign but all he saw was a kind of determined wait-and-see patience. He also saw four other bars of soap on the floor. Duane slowly backed up and, without looking, reached behind him to the ledge, all while keeping his eyes alert for any sudden movement. His hand found what he was looking for - another bar of unopened soap. He unwrapped it and resumed soaping himself with it. The big black man resumed his story. The men continued their banter and their laughter. Disaster averted.