The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Naty and My Chaotic Stench by Shey Rivera Rios

II. The Stench

At the moment, I have an urgent matter to resolve. No, let me explain. In these past few weeks, I’ve started to notice something quite embarrassing: I have acquired an insistent body odor. It’s a
kind of syrupy, rancid smell. I shower everyday, I swear! I have no idea why this is happening. The people I’ve asked claim that they can’t smell a thing, but they might be lying; the type of nice that
will not get its hands dirty.

In the Department Store, I slip between perfume booths without uttering a single sound, avoiding eye contact with the saleswomen and their overly done makeup. I cruise around the aisles, sliding through thick clouds of Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent and all those other tiny bottles I can’t afford, desperately searching for a magic potion that could hide my persistent odor. But, like a curse, all scents merged into a single odor—a knife that slowly pierced my nostrils—and I could no longer tell the difference. It was a smell that reminded me of the slow plastic decay of ladies with Botox and lots of jewelry. “Frustration” was scribbled like an invisible tattoo on my forehead. I could feel it; it itched. What a total waste of time. This chaotic stench was still following me…

I need to talk to Naty.

This selection comes from the book, Naty and My Chaotic Stench, available from Anomalous Press.  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Nilsa Ada Rivera.

Shey Rivera Ríos (pronouns: they/them) is a multi- genre artist and arts manager. They are active in the mediums of performance, installation, digital media, and poetry/narrative. The creations span several genres and a myriad of topics, from home to capitalism to queerness to magic. Rivera is also a performance curator and producer of interventions that activate people creatively. Participation in national organizations include: member and alumni of the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture (NALAC), member of the Board of Directors of the Alliance of Artist Communities, fellow of the Intercultural Leadership Institute (ILI) 2017-2018, and Brown University Public Humanities Community Fellow 2017-2019. Rivera has a BA in Psychology and Sociology from the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras campus, and graduate studies in Contemporary Media and Culture from the University of the Sacred Heart, San Juan, Puerto Rico.



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