she walks that thin line, in and out of my bed

February 8, 2013

With great reluctance I gave in and bought some "natural" deodorant, the kind without antiperspirant or aluminum or parabens or other actual stank-controlling ingredients. Did you know that the great sentient hippy gurus of our age are convinced antiperspirant is responsible for all kinds of nearby cancers, and by "nearby" I mean in the vicinity of your armpits?

Whether or not that is "real science" I have no idea, but it's well within the realm of things that are possibly possible, like getting alcohol poisoning from too many crepes and not washing your hair for 194 days.

...On the other hand, some of those same people believe Dr. Mercola is a real human being and not a soul-sucking alien robocorp, also that you can leech the toxins out the soles of your feet with children's stickers and putting a lighter to the side of your head under a full moon will scare the brain-ghosts away.

...On the other hand, I don't want my armpits to mutate into mouth #2 and mouth #3, respectively. One centrally face-located mouth is plenty for me right now.

I tried to take the plunge a year ago and I grabbed the Tom's of Maine version of "deodorant." They seem to be the go-to compromise for those who aren't ready to make their own beauty products in their backyard from discarded baking soda, essential oils, and unprocessed chicken grease.

I picked the scent that least smelled like Bonnaroo, which still mostly smelled like the cross between a head shop and the old camping gear my parents have stored in their attic. I took a shower, gritted my teeth, and slapped a liberal dose of naturally-derived magic on my freshly-shaven pits and congratulated myself. Sure, I smelled like shit, but LOOK AT ALL THE CANCER I DIDN'T HAVE!

After a few hours of sitting in a frigid, windowless office where I partook in little to no movement I smelled like I had spent the day doing 5-10 years of hard labor in the hot summer sun. At Bonnaroo. I drove directly home and spent the next two hours holed up in the bathroom desperately scraping my skin with a carrot peeler and antibacterial handsoap.

If you have to douse yourself in kerosene to get rid of the smell it probably ruins any "natural" properties the stuff had in the first place. I threw my $5 directly into the trash and gave it the finger. I do not need assistance smelling worse, faster, Tom's of Maine. No thank you forever.

That experience was so scarring I swore off even considering another go at it for an entire chemical-laden year. However, in the interest of not having mutant flesh I've once again found myself pacing the aisles of the hygiene section scanning labels for something not made of poison. This time I scrounged up a paraben free! antiperspirant free! aluminum free! deodorant from the dusty back shelf of the men's section. It smells like lemons and when I put it on it feels like I'm sloshing room-temperature jello onto my skin. Is this really the best that science has to offer? I smell conspiracy. Also, lemons.

Anyway this go around it's been a mostly unremarkable experiment, which is fine because I don't really need my armpits to be that remarkable. The trouble is not that this new stuff doesn't do the job. It seems passably adequate, if not disturbingly packed with citrus. The trouble is that my old, preferred deodorant smelled so goddamn good I routinely wanted to sex up my own armpits, which FYI is impossible and makes you look crazy.

Several times recently I've found myself lying awake late into the night, thinking about how much I smell like lemons and how it would be so easy to retrieve my old deodorant from the back of the closet where I've hidden it and lovingly rub my fingers all over its smooth, hard case and then work its magic up and down all over my armpits. She's always there waiting, looking at me with those sultry eyes because we both know it's just a matter of time before she'll be back under my arms.
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