Olfactory Day in Review


Tide and bounce on my pillow case smell of morning and night at the same time. Tugging somehow to pull me both in and out of the day. In won.

Coffee beans. Banished before. Necessary now. Three weeks of illness make it difficult to wake. A sick day ahead ‘to rest’.

Newsprint on my hands smells of braggios ink impatiently screaming the day’s news and the oily smell of ‘wash me’.

Joy dishwashing soap with lemon.

Pine-Sol and Lysol waltz together in the stairwell boasting about the freshly scrubbed floor in the upstairs bathroom.

The overgrown Lilacs in the back try to compete and fail.

Fresh orange juice co-mingles with my supplements. They smell like dog biscuits and are just as useful. I’m sick after all with the dreaded plague.

Aloe in my Kleenex; like the plant only more bashful.

Musty, yellowed paper from 1986 while I read a letter from an old friend, and finally write one in return.

Freshly cut grass. I stroll to the mailbox and greet Ruben who is here to finally fix my gutters.

The antiseptic smell of new paper. Bills.

More paper. Forms.

Even more paper. Planning for graduation, and sectionals, and music lessons and camp.

Tshirts from storage smell of something familiar. I can’t quite place it. Probably yesterday.

Salt. Tears. I need a music scholarship for my kid. We have fallen a little harder on luck than in the past. Perhaps that was more taste than smell, but in that moment they were one and the same.

Estee Lauder from QVC. An imagined smell I assign to Grace, the lovely older woman helping me on the other end of the phone.

Gardenia and rose extracts in my shampoo for color treated hair. I don’t know why I bother. My infantile hairdos more than eclipse the gray.

Dove soap.

More Aloe.


Hot rainwater and softball socks in the belly of ‘Charlene’, my 2004 Honda mini-van. She needs a lavender enema.

Fresh chicken salad with dates, spinach and spices at the Towpath Cafe. I have no appetite. I haven’t for weeks. But I love the smell and carry it home like a treasure in a box.

This time lovely paper. Fresh binding. Research called “The Things They Carried”. Somehow this paper smells nice. Maybe because of the creativity it cradles in its pages.

Humid pavement reminiscent of summer racing toward me like a freight train.

Eucalyptus, rosemary and peppermint for sore muscles in my bath.

Lime in my Bud Light.

A perfectly toasted strawberry Pop Tart ~ complete with burnt edges. Ah yes…THIS one you know exactly.

Lemon verbena candle to light my work as I sift through old photos and slides from a photography class long ago. You know. Before the rest.

Those memories carry smells of their own. Johnsons baby shampoo, mud, nailpolish, tap room floor, impatiens, starry nights, wet dog, heavy cologne, finger paint, asphalt, pine trees, new carpet, lake water, marshmallows, and life.


Aveeno lotion.

And, in a moment, Tide and Bounce again.