Am Nasty.

Even though my lovely husband recently cleaned out my car and scrubbed up the cup holders and everything, a terrifying smell was emanating from my backseat. Now, by “recently” I mean about five weeks ago, so there was a distinct possibility that I had inadvertantly left something food-related in my car. It wouldn’t be the first time.

I checked under the seats. Nothing. Just some empty water bottles and some receipts and stuff. I checked the cupholders, the console compartment thingy, the glovebox. Nothing. Then, I noticed my gym bag sitting innocently in my back seat.

It dawned on me that not only did my lack of exercise mean that I find extra flab around my middle and it’s that much harder to walk up stairs, it also meant that something was rotting in my car. In my gym bag. Dear God, what was it?!?

Naturally, I didn’t open the bag right away. In fact, I went on into work and just cracked the windows about an inch each, so that the car could air out a little. WITH THE ROTTING THING STILL INSIDE IT. Common sense? Nope, not today.

I pretty much forgot about it until about an hour before I left work. I started speculating about what it could be. It certainly wasn’t dirty laundry, because it was clean gym clothes and socks and towels in the bag in ANTICIPATION of the gym. I hadn’t actually gone. I must have put some food in there. Healthy food, probably, because I put the bag in my car on one of those “I’m turning over a new leaf” kind of days. A banana? An apple? Grapes? A high-fiber muffin? Mayhap a part-skim mozzerella stick, or a tub of fiber-added yogurt? It was kind of fun trying to guess.

I walked toward my car with steely determination the likes of which…well, I walked toward my car knowing that it would be absolutely ridiculous for me to drive all the way to campus with the foul smell still in my car. I sniffed around the seat again to make sure. I got closer the bag and yep, the smell was coming through the bag. I unzipped the bag. Whoa. Yep. It’s in there. I see my nicely folded towel, my fancy capri-style workout pants and my little short moisture-wicking socks…and the tops of two Ziploc bags. I tentatively grab the tops of both plastic bags (up near the zipper, where I can’t possibly come into contact with anything in the bags) and pull them out.

Ew. Obviously I had thought that a veggie chicken patty and a slice of nonfat American cheese would make a good lunch. Back FIVE WEEKS AGO when I packed my gym bag in the hopes I would get a wild hair and exercise my ever-expanding self. I held the bags out from me like they were teeming with insects (because they smelled like they should have been), and the plastic felt hot. Even up near the zippers! I walked them over to the dumpsters, and even though those big guys were closed up most of the way I flung the two bags to the top and heard them slide down into the dumpsters. Sweet. I half expected the nastiness to come back raining on my head because I am such a slovenly jerk. Thank heavens for small favors. The nastiness took its leave of me.

With the rotting veggie burger and rancid cheese ejected from my life and car I drove to campus, the proud resident of a not-foul-smelling vehicle and a renewed interest and dedication to cleanliness. And the idea of going to the gym. I made a mental note that I need to take the gym clothes and towel out of the gym bag and wash them, because being that close to stinky rotten stuff might make them stink too.

Yeah. The bag (with clothes in it) is still in my car. Tomorrow is, after all, another day.

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