Well that didn’t last long, dammit. Maybe it’s just me and my uptight waspy ways but…
I’m sitting in the library, trying to get back to finishing the novel that I’ve ignored for the past week during the holiday hubbub. This morning was going along swimmingly…a little rusty but that’s to be expected after an absence. Just like anything else, you stop practicing and it takes awhile to get back up to speed. No problem with that…for which I am proud of myself. There was a day when I’d be kicking the snot out myself for not being…you know….perfect.
Well, speaking of snot, I take a break around 2 PM, go out and get a soda leaving my laptop and various accoutrements (iPod, reading glasses) on the table. Now let me interject that when I arrived this morning the patronage was sparse. As the day wore on, space became somewhat of a premium. Again I expected this being the day after and shopping in town was brisk.
So I return from my break to my table (I picked a four-seater today) and there sits an older couple, one next to me and one across the table. I have no problem with this. It is, after all, a public library and sharing space is expected. I look for the same courtesy extended to me when I pop in and seating is limited.
So I take my seat, plug my head with iPod plugs and carry on. That’s when the man next to me starts schnorting. I mean full gonzo nasal jet intake like he’s got a running faucet of mucus he’s trying to jam back into his sinuses. Then his Mrs. starts blowing her nose across that table. I can just feel the germs gathering over my head, checking out which orifice of mine to attack.
Then it hits me. The smell. You know. That smell that let’s you know someone in the the near vicinity has not bathed in…well…some time. I don’t know if it was him or her and frankly don’t really want to know. But it was enough to make me relocate before I hurled across the desktop.
Now I don’t consider myself completely insensitive. I mean my Mom toted a colostomy bag around the last four years of her life so I consider myself tolerant of certain uncontrollable circumstances. But this was not that. I know that smell. This was just simple hygiene.