Men’s league has started back up. There’s a welcomed chill in the air. You know what else there is in the air? The air in my bedroom? Pungent hockey stink but not the good kind. The good kind is when it artfully seeps into every square molecule of those sacred four walls. When it’s deep inside (hehe sex joke) the equipment, the jerseys, the benches, the water bottles, the towels, your hands. When it acts as an invisible forcefield both rejecting any outsiders and bonding all insiders.
The good kind is the hockey stink that sticks to the locker room. That’s so bad it’s good. And so good you don’t even notice it. So good to you, yet so bad to others, that any rare visitor, like a parent or a sibling, might shriek, “oh my god what is that smell!”
To which you’ll respond, “lol what smell,” (grinning emoji).
But folks, the good kind does not exist in my bedroom. The hockey stink I grew up believing I’d love forever, and love anywhere, turns out to not be loved by me in my adult bedroom. It just doesn’t work in the same space as your shirts, boxers, quarter zips, needlepoint belts, and bedsheets the same way it works in the collective space shared by two dozen adolescents incapable of doing laundry who sweat profusely for several hours per day.
You’re probably thinking — Hey Riggs, you dumbass, I thought you went to Harvard (I did), why the fuck are you airing your hockey gear out in your bedroom?
I live on the 24th floor of a high-rise Manhattan apartment building. That’s not a brag; I must take an elevator to and from my apartment every time I leave. Elevators suck. They suck so much in fact that we took the worst type of music known to man and named it after the experience of riding in an elevator.
The only windows we have are giant bedroom windows that don’t “open” per say, but do slightly tilt so as to create about a 12-inch opening at the top. We do not have a fire escape, just stairwells on each side of our shared 24th floor.
I have two roommates. So, being the considerate chap that I am, I keep the situation to myself. I open up my window the full 12-inches, lay out my gear, turn on a fan, and close my bedroom door before heading to work for the day. When I return, I stuff the gear back into my bag, put it under my bed, and hope my room airs out over the next few hours before I go to sleep.
So now I’m stuck in this situation where I air my hockey gear out in my bedroom and my bedroom kinda, sorta (definitely) stinks. Not in the good way.
I do not know what to do.