Yesterday I was changing back into normal people clothes at the gym after a delightful 40 minutes on the elliptical machine watching reality television when I realized I was not wearing toenail polish. I almost always wear polish, and have for going on a decade. Without dark polish, my feet look wan and vulnerable, like the feet of an older person whose blood has better things to do. This made me think about my Aunt Irene, and how I spoke at her memorial service a few weeks ago about her physicality, her elegant feet and hands that were so different from the rest of our family’s peasant appendages. Even when she was making a dirty joke, her hands expressed nothing but refinement.

I didn’t want to be thinking about Irene, though, especially not while sweaty and in a sports bra. In an instinctive and ill-advised bit of mental redirection, I started whistling. Not very well, slightly tunelessly, but pretty loud.  

Let me tell you, if you want to make a room uncomfortable really fast, whistle in it while others are half-naked. At the workplace, no less. I trailed off and gave a few quiet coughs.

I may need to use another gym.

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