Herbie Mann Comin' Home

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Bouquet of Bous



Within the fifth layer of cleanliness, by which we understand the lowest, were two people interviewed in the 1990s. To their defense, it might be said that they worked outside, possibly among animals, and whatever habits they might otherwise have had had disappeared as pointlessly, inefficiently, old-fashioned.

The smell was a personal smell, one body crevice outdoing another in its shout for attention.

People have it that human odor is an evolutionary advantage, something like enormous size, red coloring, spines.

We stink, therefore, we are.

As I spoke to them for a long 30 minutes, receiving lethargic answers to bureaucratic questions, my nose closed down for 'maintenance', sign up, facility shut.

Their memory stayed with my clothes until later: a bath, a re-robing, an hour of wash-dry cycle.

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