Sweatroplis: A Shirtless Summer
Monday, September 13th, 2010
We accept our own sweat, knowing that no matter how many showers we take each day we’re still going to have that extra layer. It comes out of our pores, drips from our faces (necks, hands, feet, lower backs, stomachs, etc.), but we tolerate it because it’s our own brand of sweat. We nod at each other, showing respect for our sweaty comrades.
But then there are those who think they’re exempt from the common courtesy required of someone who lives in a metropolis: keeping your dog on a leash, for example, or looking before you spit on the ground. And, of course, not sweating on others. Shirtless people walk around with their bodies exposed, showing everyone just how much the heat has affected them. I fear the inevitability of bumping into or brushing up against these people. I would feel their sweat and then spend the rest of the day worrying about their dried scent on my skin and clothes. I demand that a barrier between your sweat and my sweat exists at all times. If I bump into you, I don’t want to worry about smelling like you.
I’d like to make it clear that it doesn’t matter what type of sweaty body is exposed, whether it’s someone who has Kirstie Alley’s love handles or Mark Wahlberg’s abs. I’ve had this argument repeatedly and each time, someone makes a point made about the person’s body type. Shirts should remain on until you get home. Have some consideration for the people around you.
I wasn’t always grossed out by the shirtless and shoeless. I’m from a beach town in Rhode Island. I’m familiar with summer nakedness. But there just isn’t enough space in Manhattan for people to treat it like a beach town. Consider just how many times a day you bump into or brush up against the people around you or how many times you’ve been sitting on the subway and someone is holding the railing above you. Remember that the summer is too brutal to take away the layer of air between us. Please, just keep your shirt on.
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