The world is awash in scent.
I couldn’t smell anything for a while, so now I’m hyper-attuned to it. I’ve got a running catalogue of the smells that populate my day; the faint smell of french fries in the front foyer at the library, the smell of green, growing things along the road on the way to the bus stop, diesel fuel and the whiff of old cigarette smoke by the bus depot. The closed-in, grassy smell around the doors in and out of the hallways, the rich, beautiful smell of coffee in the Starbucks across from the library main entrance (I don’t like the taste of coffee–too bitter for me– but the smell of it is fantastic). The smell of rain on the grass, the earth, the streamlet that turns into a roaring river during these repeated summer rainstorms we’ve been having; it smells alive, thick, mossy, on the edge of turning into something new. My hands smell like a camping trip (roasted vegetable sandwich for lunch, the smell of which just doesn’t seem to want to come off). My cat, with his saliva-tinged coat, smells clean. His fresh litter (untouched, fresh out of the container) is pure clay, unscented, and smells like the old concrete walls at the skating rink where I used to practice twice a week; like old stone, crushed and pushed into submission, crumbled by sheer force of will into something practical, like walls to protect us from the cold, a pool of sand for my cat to dip his feet into. The smell of my husband, always tinged with mint and water, which is starkly missing from my home now that he’s gone back to Virginia.
I went to the drugstore yesterday to buy shampoo. I spent 20 minutes popping them open and smelling their insides.