The Many and Varied Smells of the LA METRO

I forgot to put on deodorant today. I’m sorry. I ran out of the house and didn’t realize until I was running from my first train to my second that I had somehow forgotten to put something on to make me smell not so heinous. I don’t know why I chose the word “somehow” because it happens all the time. I haven’t figured out a routine yet, so it’s one of those things that gets forgotten. I mean, Do I put it on before I get dressed to ensure proper coverage but risk getting it on my shirt while puling it over my head? Or, do I wait until all my clothes are on, but still chance the fact that I’ll get some all over the sleeves if it’s sleeveless? or if it’s got sleeves, I’ll be unable to get my handful of deodorant up the front of my shirt with ample room to rub it around. And infinitely worse, I might stretch out my shirt.

As you can see, it’s quite an ordeal, so I forget to wear it pretty often. I usually don’t worry too much about it. Many of my students, being from other countries, don’t feel the need to wear perfumes or mask their terrible body odor, so why should I? Frankly, if my colleague wrinkles their nose in disgust, I just discreetly point my finger at the student who is the usual culprit, and we all laugh it off with a slight roll of the eye and mild incomprehension at the fact that someone would dare to strut around with their body odor offensively exuding for everyone to experience! The horror.

Unfortunately, on this day, it was quite a warm day and I had to run to make my transfer. As I sat down on the seat in the front of the car, facing forward as I always do to avoid motion sickness, I was suddenly all-too aware at my mistake of forgetting to wear something to cover up my natural smell. Oh, it was terrible. I noticed that not a single person decided to sit next to me. At first I was embarrassed, but then I got downright angry. Who do these people think they are? I was furious, but then the smell started to get to me. It was really really horrible. I thought to look around me to see if people behind me knew it was me and if they did, try the whole gosh-it-smells-so-bad-who-did-that face. To my surprise, there was a homeless man, fast asleep in the row behind me. Something I obviously did not catch when I was running to grab a seat. I thought about moving, but I just sat back and was pleased to know that my intolerable scent was not the worst on the train.