I was at the bus stop Friday morning when I realized that the white cotton eyelet jacket I was wearing had a small yet undeniably smeared stain of some sort, right where it buttons over the chest. The chest! It was as if someone – or something, since I was willing to point a grubby finger at anyone but me – had dipped their digits into banana, possibly butterscotch pudding, and then buttoned my jacket.
It had not been noticeable in the least when I had taken it out the night before. Nor was it noticeable when I put it on.
In the glaring light of Casual Friday, however, one is led to believe that the owner and/or wearer of this particular jacket is unfamiliar with napkins and their uses.
I consider the fact that I hadven’t worn this jacket in well over a year. It was clean when I put it away. I was sure of it. I don’t, after all, hang up dirty clothes.
I try to recollect the last time that someone might’ve eaten – not pudding perhaps, but judging by the color, possibly a bowl of curry – in my closet. I mean, there are parties; and then there are parties.
I lazily imagine how I could turn this misfortune into an opportunity, maybe a little get-to-know-you exercise on the bus, our seatmates encouraged to make assumptions about each of us based on the stains on our clothes. I wonder what my jacket says about me…
The bus comes into view as it occurs to me that I could just walk home and change. I discard this thought immediately: the next bus won’t be around for another 20 minutes, and by then I will be late for work.
I take my jacket off and put it in my yoga bag.
I don’t know what that stain is, how it got there, or what it says about me as a person, but I do know this: I have never eaten pudding - or curry! - in my closet.
I don't care what you've heard.
And I still have no idea what that stain could be.