Aqua Velva Tween

So yesterday I'm walking back from getting the mail. Inexplicably, I'm carrying all the junk mail and advertising circulars because the mixed paper recycling bin in the mail hut has gone away. Which irritates me, but I haven't figured out what to do about it yet. I say hello to the white kitty with mismatched eyes, who likes me—kitty tells me it's too cold outside now, and he'd like to go inside, please. He's followed me home before, but I don't think introducing him to Wednesday, Pugsley, and Abhi would go over very well. Besides: I know kitty has people. I just wish those people would give kitty a collar and tags.

And I pass this kid on the stairs; he might be thirteen. Giant air-bubble-emblazoned sneakers, pants baggy enough to hide a week's worth of groceries, baseball cap on backwards, wearing a decent jacket but he's shrugged it off his shoulders so its basically being held up only by his elbows. He's got headphones on, and they're loud enough to tell me he's listening to the rapper 50 cent. None of this fazes me: the kid's polite, says hello. I've seen him occasionally before. But as he passes by, I suddenly become lightheaded, my eyes begin to water, and I get an almost irrestible urge to sneeze.

That 13 year-old was wearing more cologne than I've used in my entire life.