After the Shirtstorm of ’99, I developed a new philosophy on smells. It had become clear to me that scents of any kind bring the sort of unwarranted attention that gets you sent home in some other kid’s ugly sweatshirt. I didn’t want to smell bad, but I also didn’t want to smell good. My main goal in life became smelling like nothing at all.
For more than a decade, I thought I was succeeding. No one ever asked me what kind of delicious perfume I was wearing and no one ever discreetly backed away from my foul stench. As long as I practiced basic hygiene, I was pretty sure I had achieved some kind of unscented nirvana, previously inhabited only by pure water and iocane powder.