Bicycling

When You Stay Your Sweat Smells Black

I can feel it. Every surface of my body, every stretch of skin. The sweat of a sick man, and it clings.

Biking 30, 60, 90 miles a day and bathing in lakes—never any smell. My sweat rolled off like salt water, the space under my arms was clean. My laundry sack kept empty day after day.

But here, at this desk, fetid air. Why do my clothes stink? I changed them, I showered. Why can I smell socks when feet are way down there? I feel feverish, but have no cold. No flu. No exotic bug.

My meals are rich and sugared. Coffee in the morning. Beer at night. Then I sit on an office chair and type. Two hours, four hours. Take a break for a walk. Back to the office chair.

When you burn you burn clean. When you smolder there’s smoke up there.

I look at my bike. He’s ready. Let’s go.

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