I have a locker at work.
A part of the Scandinavian-inspired, blond-wood, contemporary cubicle of corporate contentment that is my corner of the 48th floor, said locker is large enough to hold my yoga bag.
And now that Mother Nature has stopped trying to kill me, ie., winter is over, and there’s no need to don the layers of clothing normally stowed in this locker, it is not impossible for my yoga bag to be thrown in on a Friday morning and forgotten in my joyous sprint to the elevator later in the day…
It is a Monday morning, 6:45.
I open my locker to put my white jean jacket – the one with the cute little black and white cloth flower pinned to it? – on the hook when a thought comes, unbidden, to my mind.
Brie. No, not Brie; Camembert? No, wait. Cool Ranch Doritos. That's it.
This disturbing cheese-based thought is followed by a thought equally as disturbing: high school gym class.
I shut the locker door and take a step back, blinking solemnly. I am 15 again, and my mother is musing, in that perplexed yet slightly medicated demeanor she adopted for the bulk of my adolescence, on whether or not my gym socks should be washed weekly, as she believed or, as I apparently believed at the time, on a quarterly basis...
I re-open the door.
There in my locker, the yoga mat has ripened over the weekend. Rolled up and abandoned, it’s missed its end-of-the-week wash.
Hence the vaguely cheese-ish smell.
I shoot a quick spritz of a perfume sample at it, the one I keep in my purse for just such stink-related contingencies, and shut the door.
It worked in high school, it’ll work now.
And who hasn't done some washing up in the sink in the women’s bathroom over the lunch hour?
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