Short term memory is occasionally a thing for me. It blinks out sometimes when I walk from the living room to the kitchen and totally forget what I wanted when I get there, or when I take a guy’s phone number at a party and totally forget who he was by the next day. Maybe that one is less about MS and more about said guy being un-memorable.
I’m always looking for ways to work my memory muscles (suggestions are welcome!) and carry a notepad at work to jot down tasks and details as I go. But sometimes my memory fritz happens quite inopportunely. Like the time I forgot to put on deodorant after my morning shower and didn’t realize it until after lunch. At the office. I was mortified, convinced that I was stinking up the place, and kept elbows at my sides in a weird robot stance. As it happened, the day was crazy and I never got a chance to run out to the drugstore for a travel-sized Secret or Degree, or Ban. They still make Ban. In any case, I was trapped in funk.
I remembered the vial of fragrance oil I keep in my purse for the occasional mojo boost. I went to the bathroom and rolled some onto my armpits hoping it would camouflage the issue. It smelled great and I became confident that I was no longer a BO bandit. I had my regular yoga class after work, but of course I was running late, so I had to race through the subways with my mat tucked under my arm and ended up making it just in time.
It was cold outside so the windows in the studio were shut. In the small mirrored classroom, filled with about twenty students, the air wrapped around me and got warm. I focused on my asanas (that’s poses to you non-yogis), but there was no ignoring the ever-spreading scent of Mojo Musk in the air. When we got to the Warrior One pose, arms up, hands reaching for the sky, facing the mirror I could see that my armpits were gleaming in the light. The oil I had covered my armpits with earlier spread with my perspiration and they had become positively greasy. The instructor walked by me a few times and I know he saw it. I know he smelled it, too. I know he thought I was weird and probably hoped I never came back.
To make things even worse, after class he stopped to chat with me about eating organic, cutting yeast and processed foods out of my diet, and such. Huh? Was this his way of hinting at how I could keep from assaulting everyone with my stink? I kept a poker face, smiling and nodding as he talked. He went on about the benefits of drinking more water and the farmer’s market on Sundays, all soft-spoken and bone dry as I stood there sweating even more out of sheer embarrassment. As I walked out of the room, my stomach was knotted from nerves and I think I even farted. Audibly. Perfect.
When I got outside and about a block away from the entrance, I burst into the most delirious fit of laughter on record. I didn’t even try to take out my phone to pretend I was on the line with someone, I just cracked up until my face and stomach hurt. The humiliation I’d just suffered was so total that all I could do was laugh at myself. I had barely caught my breath and was still giggling when, crossing the street, I spotted a man standing behind his open car door, peeing. As the yellow trail ran into the curb and pooled around his back tires, I realized he was looking me shaking his head. Like I was the weird one.