As the weather has gotten warmer, I’ve started changing into my work clothes at the office. Fortunately for me, I work 10 to 6, so fewer folks see me do this, and the bathroom is usually empty when I need to change. I’m doing this because my body is not well adapted to walking around in warm weather for long periods of time without producing prodigious amounts of moisture. I ruin shirts in the summer. Getting to the train, walking up and down all the stairs, standing immobile on the hot, stuffy platforms…it’s too much for my Scottish physiology. If I were to do this in slacks and a nice shirt every day I would be a disheveled mess by the time I got to work.
Walking to work in sandals, shorts and a t-shirt still doesn’t entirely prevent me from sweating up a storm, but it’s a definite improvement from the alternative. Plus when I leave work I feel freer, less constricted. I can more easily go do things without having to run home and change clothes.
So I do my dry cleaning near the office, usually on Mondays. I have to remember to pack socks and undershirts for the week in my satchel or laptop bag. I feel a little bit like Michael J. Fox in “Secret of My Success,” carrying a briefcase full of clothing to the office.
And speaking of odd feelings at work, often I find myself looking out the window at the economic epicenter of the modern world and trying to remind myself just how the hell I got here. A couple times a week as I walk home I’m still struck by the strangeness of it all: some fool from smalltown Arkansas works in this building, in this part of the city? He doesn’t belong here; who let this guy in?