PICTURE, IF YOU WILL, a near-empty tube of toothpaste.
It's flat, but not yet infinitely flat.
You know within that tube is one more usable demi-wad of paste, and if you can just steamroller that sucker a little tighter -- maybe use the toothbrush as a press to wrestle forth that pea-sized half serving you need and BY GOD will have even if it costs you a pulled hamstring and the last vestige of what once was pride but now now is just world-weary resignation -- you can stand tall and proud in the knowledge that you have well and truly finished that tube.
You hop up and down and hammer away and roll the damned tube -- it's mocking you, it's actually mocking you -- back and forth on the edge of the bathroom countertop, determined and hell-bent to claim that minty-fresh prize, no matter what.
And then you glance up and see your bleary eyed reflection in the mirror: your pale tummy bulging a tad more than you want to admit, and your hair looking like someone slapped you with a wet frying pan, and you become painfully shamefully aware of the stupefying futility of your efforts, and you realize you've spent 14 minutes in hand to hand combat with a tube of Colgate even while a fresh fat undented tube of same sits right there, laughing.
This is how the writing is going for me these days.