L’ESPRIT DE L’ESCALIER

I have reason to believe that I smell incredibly good.

I recently purchased a new perfume: CK1 Red.  I like CK1 because it reminds me of the 90s, when America made sense.  But, anyway, I was standing in line at a luxury discount store and a young, stylish, child in front of me said “Something smells really good.”

Her mother said, “Perhaps the candles–the vanilla?”

And the stylish child said, “No. No.  I don’t think so. Something else.”

Something else. Yes.  Standing there, I knew what that something else was: me.  I thought, what good choice of aromas that stylish child has.

However, I do have some other evidence, which I’m unsure how to classify.

After doing my favorite class at the gym: “Stairs and Chairs,” (which includes: making the chairs into stairs that we run up, jumping from one office chair to the other office chair, and sitting on the chair while a carefully selected partner carries you up the chair stairs), I decided to try the sauna.  I had just showered.  The stair workout is intense and causes my muscles to sweat uncontrollably.

I entered the sauna to see a woman reclined on the bench.  She then said something out loud, which I assumed was a dream.  I began to create an intricate backstory for this woman: stressed out middle-aged woman with sleep disorder finds comfort at local gym sauna.

However, this thought process was interrupted by her saying, “No scent!”

Soon, I realized she was talking about me and the lotion I had used on my face and hands.

I didn’t know what to say.  Like the 18th century French writer, Denis Diderot, I am quite sensitive and often taken aback when someone says something oddly rude to me.

She said, “It is almond, no?”

I said, “Coconut.”

She said, “Ok. If I sit up, it is better.”

I realized my mouth was open without words coming out. I closed it and then remained silent.

I agree with Diderot about his phrase “l’esprit de l’escalier:” a person can only think clearly at the bottom of a staircase.   I knew I had to return to “Stairs and Chairs” immediately.

At the bottom of our chairs staircase, I thought about the incident.  It seems it would indicate that I do not smell as incredible as that stylish child had lead me to believe.

In the end, there are some things you can’t control: like how your perfume will smell in someone else’s nose or the outcome of a recent election.  But, there are some things you can control: like how quickly your hips will move the chairs in tonight’s hula inspired workout where we put the office chairs over our bodies and climb as many stairs as humanely possible, forever climbing our way up.

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9 Replies to “L’ESPRIT DE L’ESCALIER”

  1. Scents are so strangely personal. I have such a sensitive nose that I can’t go into certain shops (Lush, Hollister, I’m looking at you..). I’ve never smelled ck1 red! Will have to try it…

    1. Yes, me too. Perfume is pretty interesting: the idea of it smelling differently on each person. Ck1 Red is subtle. To me, it’s a good teaching perfume. I liked your “Sonder” post a lot. Now i know about The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows. So cool. Thanks for that.

  2. It is exciting that you are using and enjoying office chairs in the gym. Perhaps you could find a partner and rework the Baronton sisters novelty act of juggling tables to juggling office chairs. The two French women wore long sleeved black leotards and their hair was pulled up in a tight bun for their awe inspiring feat. Just a thought. John

      1. Bob’s your uncle. I believe that US television in the late sixties was a stylised copy of French New Wave; rapid cuts between cameras especially. And in this case the sisters do tell their story by only using music and stagecraft. Maybe you could choreograph an office chair juggling pantomime in the style of french farce. Delighted that you are enjoying the video.

  3. Your Stairs and Chairs workout sounds entirely too dangerous! When I imagine someone trying to run up a staircase of precariously perched chairs, that could slip or tip at any moment, the mommy in me wants to shout, “Cut that out before you break a leg” (or poke an eye out — either will do).

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