Like many in the urban jungle, I regularly seek the counsel of my inner caveman.
The caveman: multi-family housing dweller, a man/woman who shared spaces, no doubt turning a blind eye to Grok’s all-night coughing, to Bork’s slovenly habits, to Phoebe’s telling that same lousy joke for what? the 10th time today???
The bus is full, full of people wearing, individually, clothing enough for several more people. Packed in our clothing, packed in our seats, we settle in. There’s little to be done about how close we must be, and there’s no sense in fighting. We’re just people, after all, and no one here wants anything more than to get home. It is, as the clever among us like to say, what it is. Best to turn your attention to your book, your iPod…
… or your inner caveman, because Holy Hannah, what is that smell?
My caveman – Og, I think his name is – shakes his great, wooly head. He lifts his flared nostrils, sniffing mightily. What is that? Goat? Is that goat? Wait – no. Stagnant water. No – wait! Cat, feral cat, perhaps having had an encounter with a goat, next to a pool of stagnant water…
My seatmate, a smallish woman in a very nice coat glances at me, tries to determine if the smell is coming from me. Satisfying herself that I do not appear to be the salty source, she leans forward, tries to sniff the man in front of us.
She leans back with both a gratified and disturbed air. She has found the source.
You’d think she’d be happy.
Deep within the smooth, cavernous expanse of the cave in my brain, Og gives a bemused grunt, picks at his teeth with the corner of a matchbook.
We may know who here needs to wash that old coat, but there’s not much we can do about it.