As the semester wore on, so did my patience with Putty. I wasn’t used to not getting my way, much less not getting a man. Meanwhile, because no one else in D.C. (on the program or not) liked him, he made sure to stay on my good side.
I joke that no one liked Putty. But it was true. Early in the semester, I remember running into him in the post-apocalyptic city beneath the Capitol. It was a painful meeting.
The whole thing was made much more awkward by the fact that I smelled liked a French Whorehouse and didn’t feel like running into anybody. Luckily, he did too. So, did everyone in our building. The water wasn’t running that morning, so instead of a shower, I splashed on a generous amount of perfume and deodorant.
I just ended up smelling worse.
Later I learned Putty’s cologne theory; that wearing it produces body odor. Sort of like the body’s white blood cells fighting off a virus; but instead of a deadly disease, it defends against Boss by Hugo Boss.
Years after that, Putty also legitimated significant weight gain by explaining when you fall in love your body’s metabolism shuts down because you no longer need to attract a mate.
Clearly, both theories firmly rooted in science. But I digress.
“Are you coming tonight?” I tried to ask nonchalantly.
“No. Wait. What’s tonight?” he asked, trying to appear twice as nonchalant. All of his roommates were meeting up after work at the pub for a drink, and since I was their House Ho, I was too. Apparently, they forgot to mention it to him. I set the wrong right and gave him the details.
We parted ways and I wandered over to the Capitol gift shop to see if they sold anything that would mask the hormone-induced musk. My glandular secretions were in full production after being in such close proximity to Putty.
Peter and I arrived at the pub early. I told him about my conversation with Putty. Peter just stared at me, made a sound like a grunt/giggle, and cued me in. “No one likes Putty. Everyone is going to be pissed.”
I prayed Putty had a better sense of his roommate dynamics and wouldn’t come. Peter reveled in telling everyone, as each one sat down, that I invited Putty. It was universally agreed that I was a disappointment.
I took the abuse and bought the first round.
“Hey, guys” Putty said slyly sauntering up to the table where most everyone had already arrived. With forced enthusiasm, the table greeted Putty.
It was the second time that day that I didn’t want to see Putty. Luckily, this time it wasn’t because I smelled. At the very least, I had successfully masked my lack of hygiene by flicking vodka on my face, neck, and arms. It had an antiseptic effect.
Clearly rooted in science. But again, I digress.