A thing that reminds me of the smell of a gym locker room
In an archival photo by an unknown author, a boy in a marinière is bending below a standpipe, washing his face and drinking water. When I saw this photo at an online auction, I instantly remembered how I used to drink water or wash my shoes at one of these standpipes on my way home after school. First, you’d throw your backpack into the grass and roll up your sleeves. Next, you’d hang on the tight lever of the cast-iron standpipe, grasping it with your right hand, until your left palm is filled with cool water with a hint of chlorine. Finally, you’d drink in large gulps, quenching your thirst after a physical education lesson, and clean up so that mom wouldn't scold you at home. However, the smell and taste of the water from the central water supply system recalled through the photo, brought back another memory: the smell of sweat mixed with the smell of rubber sneakers, always lying abandoned under the bench in the gym changing room. I bought this photo without hesitation.