February 28, 2012 by Manny Wordsmith
She had armpit funk.
It was heavy and overbearing, tugging at my curly nose hairs. I tried to knock it away like a dog attempting to lick me, but it didn’t work. It bobbed and weaved past my fast hands to hit its target each time. I would’ve of made eye contact, but she was already sleeping. The plane wasn’t even off the ground yet and she was sleeping, blanket and all.
I thought maybe she had a long layover and forgot her antiperspirants in her other bag. Or that she ran to the airport, literally, and was in too big of a rush to apply the necessary wipes to the ol’ pits. I didn’t want to judge, but when ever I tried to read a paragraph in my GQ, I would smell a whiff and then immediately feel like that worm that hangs out with Oscar the Grouch all the time. Slimey is his name, I think.
I didn’t know what to do. I almost panicked, until she turned and a long lock of her hair came out from under the cover.
“No,” I thought. “She can’t be!”
I refused to believe that one long, wondrous, lock of beautiful light brown hair was enough to decide someone’s look.
The hair hung there, staring at me, asking me to investigate, but I didn’t. I had to wait for the flower to bloom by itself. A simple tap on the shoulder and some senseless questions would have uncovered this smelly woman, but I waited.
20 minutes passed and more cover was shed, this time exposing all of her long hair, her back and slim waist. The white shirt that she wore was at least belly button height and revealed a road map of freckles along her lower spine.
Now, I can see how this may seem “creepy” to some. Especially, to girls who always sleep on planes and assume the old guy next to them is paying more attention to his Reader’s Digest than their buttocks and bosoms. Just to realize he’d been reading the magazine with one hand the whole time.
I am not that guy. I just enjoy a puzzle. And if anything, this was one of the biggest puzzles I’ve ever encountered. I didn’t know what could’ve created that smell. It was like old broccoli and overchewed Juicy Fruit gum. Captain Nemo would’ve travelled 20,000 leagues just to uncover this. She could’ve been some swamp creature with a Hollywood wig, who soaked herself in rotton pomegranates far as I knew. I couldn’t settle with that.
But I was at the point to where I didn’t even smell anything anymore. My curiosity blinded my other senses. Only my eyes remained. But she was knocked out, heavily sleeping and lightly snoring.
My eyes got tired and I closed them for a little nap myself. I awoke and hour later to find my funky seatmate jarring awake.
She turned and removed her cover in almost disgust of herself. But her face didn’t change the way the light from the window shined on her tanned, lightly brown skin. She pushed her hair behind her right ear and showed that she was one of the sexiest, most naturally enchanting women to ever sit next to me…who also had armpits that could probably get troops sent to her house.
I was speechless, and pretending to sleep during all this. But in a crazy turn of things, this girl, this beautifully smelly girl, sniffed her own pits, went into her bag, grabbed a new shirt and a stick of Secret deodorant, walked past me and headed to the bathroom. She was at least 5’10 and all legs…by the way
I couldn’t believe it, I was stunned. But it wasn’t over yet. She returns with a brown shirt on, which cleverly matched her peach colored skorts.
She sits down, now totally fresh, pulls out her Macbook and starts watching episodes of House.
I was in love. It was like being one of those mice watching Cinderella turn from a house slave to a princess. I stole looks from time to time, trying not to be awkward. But time she took her earbuds out, I spoke.
“I love this show,” I said.
“Oh me too! House is so funny. And I can’t believe he’s actually English! You can’t even tell,” She said.
She had an accent and some of the brightest green eyes I had ever seen.
“Where are you from?”
“What were you doing in California?”
“Oh, I’m a model…”
I didn’t even hear the intricacies of her trek from Holland. I just heard model. I was elated and perplexed at how such a beautiful girl could make such a loud smell. Later on, I recalled her story I was ignoring and put together that she was laid over in Santa Barbara (where I got picked up), but had to stay on the plane. She had flown from L.A. earlier that day, hence the smell.
“…I won a contest and got to spend 3 months with a modeling company.”
We spent the rest of the flight (which was about 15 minutes) sharing stories about Europe and the differences between the nightlife in L.A. and the nightlife everywhere else in the world.
It was refreshing, literally and figuratively.
We exchanged emails and went our separate ways. Now, whenever I smell Juicy Fruit or Secret deodorant, I think of Alyssia, the sexiest, rankest model from a small town in Holland.