I, Jose, stayed in the college. I lived with hundred boys in one building, and I recognized their odours very well. I had a roommate, from Malacca, named Nathan, a Christian as mine as well, whom I knew him just at the beginning of the semester. It was my first semester of the first year, and I proudly announced myself as a freshman from University Putra Malaysia. My pride was ballooning because I managed to enter university to further studies on Moral Education. Nathan was like other boys in the college, who smelled like a young man. I knew his body odour too. I was not in particular with odours, but I smelled them every day.
Nathan and I studied in the same faculty, Faculty of Educational Studies. He enhanced studies on Physical Education, and he smelled good. I fell in love with his good smell. I could see his sweats running down from his head to his abs, then to his lower parts, to his hairy legs which I could see lines of sweats going down to the feet. Sometimes, when he was half-naked in our room, with his boxer, I could see his boxer wet down to his anus. I could sometimes smell the god-you-know smell, but it was pleasant.
I asked him, “Do you always work up? I like your body. It is well proportioned. The girls fall in love with your fleshy chest and strong arms. But, you are short. Why wouldn’t you play basketball? It makes you taller.”
Nathan muttered gently, “Working up is my pleasure. I did it since I was 15 years old, and I now have this body. I like my body too. It is alluringly fantastic, you know. Yeah, I know I am a short guy. What should I do? I feel humiliated if I play basketball.”
I was shocked to hear his answers. He answered parallel to the sequence of my questions. He was, based on my observation, still an old secondary-school boy who never knew when to pull himself out of the label. Like I said, he was just like other boys in the college. I did not ask further knowledge of why he hated to play basketball, and I seemed no cares for it.
“I like your body odour too. You smell and look manly to me.”
“I’m a P.E student. What do you expect? But, I tell you, I like your reek too, and you are a bit taller than me. I shall see you at once…from distance. I shall sense your presence if you are farther a bit from me.”
Again, I was shocked to hear his compliments. The compliments, I thought, were genuine, and I felt appreciated to become his roommate and a mate to share some emotions, thoughts and a few garments. I, Jose, really fell in love with his scent because I smelled it every day, every second I spent my time with him in our room, doing my assignments.
In our room, he had many things, lots of pretty garments, expensive pair of shoes, and a perfume named Hugo Boss. I had more than his, but I owned Prada for Men which it smelled better than Hugo, and Nathan was in despair. He sometimes asked me to have my Prada. I did not decline his gentle request because I wanted both of us to spray the same brand of perfume on our bodies as unison of our relationship. I pronounced this relationship as friendship.
I always made relations between Nathan and other boys in the college that they had the same habits, like boys should have in their lifetime. They had the same bad attitude which they would prefer to throw rubbish outside the window. The dustbins on every floor had no rubbish at all, and I could only describe the dustbins as the prominent monuments in the college.
I had another friend was staying in the college too. His name was Ferthe. It sounded like a girl’s name but it pronounced as “Fart”. The boys in the college, including Nathan, had different versions of calling his name, such as “Ferti” or “Pede”. I sometimes laughed at his expressions that he felt strange to be called as such names. We had become friends because every time I met with and shook hands with a boy in the college, I would say like this, “Hello, I, Jose, am pleasure to meet you.” Ferthe chuckled or giggled at me when he heard my greetings and introductory. He, too, had the scent that anyone could not forget at all. He stank like a piglet playing mud in someone’s garden. He was fat, had big flabby arms and could not walk properly-it was like he wobbled round as a pregnant man!
He could kill anyone with his very juicy freaking reek. He, as I checked, was just like the other boys in the college with sickening smells. I advised him to work his body up by jogging or lifting some things, but he did not do it because he explained to me that he loved his size. I did not have a single transportation to go to anywhere, but UPM had only buses to circulate our journey to anywhere we wanted to. I got on the bus, and I saw him there sitting with his ass taken two seats without thinking that other students needed to sit down too. Every student on the bus stared at him, but he did not care as he did not see their attitudes towards him. He was beautifully sleeping. On the bus, there was air-conditioner to cool down the heat, and only the god-know smell coming from Ferthe. I uttered, “Fuck” silently in my heart.
One Wednesday morning, there was a plague happening in the college. One of the boys was badly sick. We were sick too but not as bad as this boy. He vomited like he was having a baby growing in his womb, as if he had one; I did not know who that boy did that to himself and he would turn up one day at Oprah Show to tell Oprah that he had a baby and the world would say “So what?” loudly, which I could think ridiculous. He fainted easily like a girl whom had painful menstrual as he might be having it, and all the boys laughed at him. Boys always did that to anyone, laughing like male-banshees.
I asked him, “What’s wrong with you? Are you badly sick? Are you anemic? What did the doctor say?”
He frowned hearing my questions. I concluded he was not like the other boys in the college. He had pulled himself out of the label. He had a well-functioned mind that could cross any boundaries of knowledge in the world. I showed him my respects by telling him that I loved his expressions. Anyway, he had his odour too and it was pleasant. I fell in love with his scent.
He replied, “I am sick because of the boys here. They are, I simply say, dirty and hideous. They do not care hygiene of themselves, their rooms and their garments. They are just simply dirty, and they smell horrible.”
That night, our Principal of the college came monitoring. All rooms were checked and all were commented pathetically. Overall conclusion given by the Principal was this, “You little brainless dusty children! You all are smelled horrible. This college is not meant for chickens to live at. It is for humans who know how to take care of themselves and to become hygienic all the time. I shall have cast you children out from this college.”
On Thursday, the boys did laundry, cleaning and taking showers often as to make sure they would have good body odours. I saw Nathan was like a girl who washed his garments diligently and sprayed our room with lavender fresh. I loved him doing these. Ferthe had taken my advice determinedly that he worked up every day and he came to me complaining about the muscle pains he suffered. I just smiled, but I actually intended to support him doing it frequently.
Within a week, all I could sense through my nose was good fresh scents, but a week after that, the gross scents came back again to my life. College boys would always be the college boys with their throwing-up odours. I wished so badly if my college could have girls parading the floors every second. However, the college was the college for boys. I, Jose, loved to stay in the college with the boys whose odours I knew very well.