I swear I’m missing some underwear.
For the longest time, I had enough boxers to get me through the week at least, but now I find myself having to do laundry before Saturday comes around. I can’t imagine anyone actually taking them, although every time I lose an article of clothing, I always suspect the most recent ex-girlfriend first. This isn’t for any specific reason (in fact, I’m pretty sure none of them have ever actually taken anything), and is probably just a paranoia cultivated through group hug confessions.
That, and knowing how important smell can be to someone. Ashley, in particular, used to take my undershirts on a regular basis. She’d tell me to wear them for days (good thing Asian people don’t sweat), and we’d have a rotation thing going on where I’d give her a new (used) shirt when I couldn’t see her for a while. She told me that she’d fall asleep clutching them, although the smell would never last longer than a week.
Michele was different. She didn’t have any natural scent, and told me that my shirts would never stop smelling like me. I suspect that she had a much sharper olfactory sense.
Sam I could smell through the pages of a book she once gave me: a copy of Flowers For Algernon by Daniel Keyes. She picked it up at a book sale, and read it in one day. By the end she was crying, and thought I would enjoy it. Every time I turned the page, it was like she was sitting in front of me again, coffee smell on her breath.
Louise was different still. She had a great scent that was a little sweet, under the Cool Water by Davidoff she would frequently wear. She didn’t seem to care for my natural body smell as much as the artificial “male” scents, such as the Gillette series of products. Jacky once told me that she was using a stick of the same sport antiperspirant that her ex used because it reminded her of him. When I actually saw the stick, even already knowing that it was a stick of “guy antiperspirant”, I was still surprised at how male oriented the marketing was, with high contrast fluorescent stripes and bold fonts. It looked a little odd when she put it on, holding the stick with her dainty hands.
I find that most girls are like this; they prefer the manufactured smells of an aftershave, body wash, or even deodorant. Instead, Ashley taught me to appreciate an eau de natural. I remember walking up to her house, after not seeing her for a month, and being able to smell her from outside the door. I would miss her even more just standing there, almost as if this made her ethereal presence tangible. Ever since, I’ve believed that the scents we produce are more important than the ones we put on. They’re unique to one person, and never go away.
Unlike my underwear.