Posts Tagged ‘smell’

Sometimes

September 7, 2017

Music makes me sigh.

Releases some unknown tension and I can relax.

I put on Yo-Yo Ma’s Bach Cello Preludes and it was like I was melting.

I heaved a big sigh and just sank into my chair.

My body hurts today.

My shoulder is a nuisance.

Apparently I pushed too hard in yoga on Monday or maybe it was carrying the baby as much as I did today, but ouch.

Ugh.

Getting old.

I’m sure I will look back at being 44 and laugh at myself thinking that I am old.

The fact is.

I don’t feel my age.

Oh.

I suppose my knees feel twice my age and my shoulder feels like a baseball pitcher being put out to pasture.

But.

Feeling my age?

No.

I don’t think I feel any certain age.

Although I do recall a time when I realized that all people below a certain age annoyed the shit out of me, I don’t subscribe to any particular feeling when I think, “I feel this old.”

The little girl I watch is four.

She likes to ask me about my age, “I’m 44 honey, eleven times older than you.”

And that is intense to contemplate.

I remember being four.

Pivotal things happened.

Then again.

I don’t remember a lot of being four either.

Um.

Pivotal things happened.

For the most part, however, I have an extraordinary memory and I’m good at replaying scenes as I have taken them in.

If I can hone in on a detail I am suddenly filling all the spaces with colors and sounds and emotional movement and music, with narrative, and it is as though I am watching a movie.

As I have gotten older some memories stick more than others.

Certain scenes, images, smells.

Oh.

A smell can carry so much weight in it.

Or a taste of something.

Tomatoes with salt from my grandfather’s garden.

Raspberries and milk with sugar in a green plastic bowl, raspberries I picked with my grandmother.

Apple cider.

The top sweetest part of the 2 gallon milk jug that we would pour the homemade apple cider into after running it through the press.

My grandfather unearthed an old apple press and rigged it to a lawn mower motor and we made cider using that press for years.

The house in Windsor that I moved to in 7th grade had an apple orchard, 4 Red Delicious trees (to this day I always wonder why the fuck they planted such boring ass apples, fodder for the press, all of them, we never ate them they were just such plain Jane apples) and 8 Courtland trees, plus four pear trees and one Golden Delicious–the animals and birds ate most of the Golden Delicious before they could even ripen, they were such amazingly sweet apples, almost translucent with sugar, you could see through the skin in the sunlight.

My mom would pour the cider into milk jugs and then freeze them in a giant freezer we had in the basement of the house.

The sweetest part of the cider would float to the top when it thawed and my mom tried valiantly to not let us drink any of the cider until it defrosted completely, but my sister and I often foiled her.

The cold, achingly sweet, syrupy juice taste will always stick in my memory.

Sometimes it is the smell of strawberries in the morning, reminding me of a very late night that became an early morning and it was warm and summer time in Madison and I was walking home from closing the bar and the after bar and I stopped by a vendor at the farmers market and bought a basket of strawberries and sat in the grass, kicking off my shoes and luxuriating in the feel of the soft, warm, dewy grass.

Sometimes it is a way a certain person smells.

Euphoria.

And I am smote with longing and love and desire.

Or the way someone’s skin feels against mine.

I think too, sensory, I’m going for the senses here, of a warm night, not many of them in San Francisco, a few years ago, when I walked down to the beach and the sand was still warm and the beach was deserted and the smell of bonfires wracked my memories.

And I was suddenly four-years old again, at a beach bonfire, with my mom and sister, who was already asleep, and my mom’s boyfriend, and there was the smell of driftwood fire and sea and that smell is some embossed on me, that to this day it really is one of my fondest smells.

Smell and memory are very tied to each other.

Riding my scooter to work this morning I passed a tavern on Lincoln that must have a popcorn machine, the smell was enticing and it was real popcorn, cooked in that oil that old-fashioned machines use and real butter smell.

I was suddenly in a movie theater, the old 99 cent movie theater on the far East side of Madison, that was probably actually the suburb of Middleton, that only had one screen and I was watching Woody Allen’s The Purple Rose of Cairo.

Which I didn’t get at all, but the movie was 99 cents and that’s why we were there and the popcorn was cheap and plentiful and I sat in that air-conditioned movie house and happily ate popcorn and watched a movie that I was too young to understand, but I remember the feel of the back of the movie seat in front of me on the bottoms of my feet and how I would press my feet hard into the seat to stretch and then curl back up into a ball and eat more popcorn.

Sometimes smells startle me too.

One day not too long ago I was riding up 7th and I smelled the smell of a tree, a tangerine tree in my mind, although I have no idea if it was tangerine or not, but my mom’s boyfriend had an apartment that had a tangerine tree outside of it and I would pick them and peel them sitting on the back cement steps while they got high smoking pot.

I was suddenly a little girl in a sundress with sticky fingers and bare feet and I could see all the tangerines in the tree and felt satiated with the ones I had eaten and sleepy from the sunshine.

Oh.

All the memories.

The best part of getting old, accruing all these luscious things that I get to stock pile in my brain.

In my heart.

In my soul.

All the amazing things.

There are so very many.

And I am grateful for them all.

Yes.

Yes.

I am.

Grateful beyond words.

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Hello Friday

August 12, 2017

My God.

You smell amazing.

There is nothing.

I mean.

NOTHING.

Like coming home to a package from Chanel.

Oh.

God damn.

And even thought I knew what it was, I still unboxed it like it was a surprise.

I was so giddy.

So happy.

The biggest smiles.

And.

The most delicious of smells.

Yes.

That’s right.

I am back to my scent.

I have adored wearing Rose Flash, it’s been a nice little thing to have and I get sweet compliments on it.

But.

It is not Chanel.

It is not my scent.

My signature scent for decades has been Chanel Egoiste.

Pour Homme.

That’s for Man.

Yeah.

I wear a men’s cologne.

I never set out to wear a men’s cologne, it was a complete accident.

There are no mistakes in God’s world.

It was meant to be, but I didn’t know it at the time.

I found it at a discount store in the mall, one of those stores that specializes in products that have been discontinued.

It wasn’t in a box.

It must have been a sample from the big department store that was closing across the way.

I don’t know.

I had only been in the big department store once, I can’t even remember what the name of it was it wasn’t one that I was familiar with, then again it was in a land I was also unfamiliar with.

Iowa.

Yeah.

For a very strange year when I was 20 years old, I lived and worked in Newton, Iowa.

The short version of the story was that I was there to help my sister raise her child while her husband waited to get out of prison.

Actually they weren’t married yet, that happened at the prison a few months after I moved there with her to help her with my niece.

I swear.

This is the short version.

The long version is the book I wrote, the second in my memoir trilogy (yes I wrote a trilogy, no, it’s not published), called The Iowa Waltz.

Anyway.

We had moved there, my sister and I, as her fiancée was caught breaking bail in Wisconsin and was extradited to Iowa to serve out his sentence at the minimum security prison outside of Newton.

I got a job waitressing at Palma’s, this crazy Greek restaurant where the owner insisted that all the “girls” wear heels when working.

And dresses.

I might have gone to that department store to buy a dress, I think, in fact, that was why I was in the mall at all.

I certainly did not have a lot of extra money to spare, my sister was getting food stamps and WIC.

And I lied my ass off to get the bartending job.

My first shift the woman training me rolled her eyes, “you have got to be kidding me, you don’t know how to make a margarita?!”

It was a margarita night.

It was on special.

And.

It was strawberry.

I learned really fast.

And within a few weeks I was zipping around, tottering really, god how my feet hurt, the other bartenders and making pretty decent tips.

For Iowa, anyway.

The wife of the owner was the “bar manager” and she was a notorious Sambuca drinker and what is that Italian wine, god she drank it by the bottle and it was red and always chilled, Lambrusco?

And.

Fuck.

She smoked.

I mean.

I smoked, probably a pack a day at the time, but she smoked rings around me.

We were allowed to, oh the good old days when you could smoke while you worked.

Gagging.

Voula!  That was her name.

Shit, that just popped right up in my brain, I have not thought about that crazy bitch in a while.

Voula smoked three packs a day, easy.

It wasn’t that she necessarily smoked that much, but she always, I mean, always, had a cigarette burning in an ashtray.

And not just one, but five, sometimes six or seven.

“Do not put out any of her cigarettes, do not dump them, don’t do it, doesn’t matter if the ashtray is full to overfull, do not dump it, you will get the wrath of Voula,” my trainer told me.

She also told me under no circumstances to flirt with Voula’s husband.

Ew.

Yuck.

Why the fuck would I?

He was gross.

Balding, smoked just as much as she did, except he smoked cigars, and he had a big paunch and swinging jowls, I mean, not attractive.

“She will fire you if she thinks you’re flirting with him,” the head bartender told me, “she’s fired four girls in the last month.”

Fuck.

I won’t flirt, like I said, gross.

But.

I had drawn his attention.

And he made it clear.

I don’t remember what he said or how but it translated to I needed to buy another dress for work, and there was no mention of a clothing allowance or a uniform stipend, the money had to come out of my own pocket.

So.

The mall.

I must have found a dress.

And somehow I wandered into this strange little store next to the big department store, cheap trinkets, discounted stuff, old holiday decorations, odd toiletries and make up, junk basically.

But.

There.

On the shelf in the back right hand corner of the shop.

The bottle of Egoiste.

I do not know what compelled me to smell it.

I must have been registering it before I opened the lid and inhaled.

Oh.

Holy Mother of God.

It was the most amazing thing I had ever smelled.

Warm and spicy, musky.

Sexy.

Vanilla, coriander, sandalwood, rosewood, subtle cinnamon.

Not that I could have told you that then.

Fuck.

I was nineteen.

It just smelled amazing.

It blew my mind.

It was $19.99.

I had twenty-five dollars in my wallet.

I did not hesitate.

I bought it.

One of the best decisions ever.

I got fired two nights later when the boss lady’s husband decided to keep the bar open late and play poker with his buddies and he wanted a personal bartender.

Yup.

You guessed right.

Me.

I never once did a thing.

Nothing.

Didn’t matter.

I was fired when I came into work the next day.

“Get out of my bar,” she screamed at me, “you’re fired you fucking whore.”

Yeah.

And goodbye.

Funny thing.

I actually got my next bartending job because of her.

“Wait, what?  You worked for Voula for two months?” The woman interviewing me said, she was the owner of Boots and Spurs, why yes, I did work at Iowa’s largest country western night club, how did you guess?

I nodded, abashed, I had indeed gotten fired.

“You’re hired!” She exclaimed, nobody makes it two weeks with Voula, let alone two months.”

She laughed out loud, “hell, I only made it four days, she was one of my first employers, years and years ago now.”

“You must be amazing, when can you start?”

And so began my illustrious career in a country western nightclub.

But that’s a blog for another day.

Or you know, just read the book when I finally get it published, there’s plenty of stories there, believe you me.

Anyway.

I was hooked.

I fell in love in Iowa with a men’s cologne from Paris.

So many, many years ago.

And I got a bottle today in the mail.

Such an amazing gift.

I opened it and smiled and laughed and giggled and hopped up and down a little.

And then I opened it.

Oh.

That smell.

So good.

So, very, very good.

And just for a moment.

I was transported back to that small town mall in Newton, Iowa (home of Maytag Washing Machines!) and my 19-year-old self.

My god.

How far I have come.

How very fucking far.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Best smelling one too.

Heh.

 

 

 

Void In My Heart

August 11, 2017

Only you can fill it.

Love.

Fill it with love.

Fill it with joy.

Fill it with the smell of you entangled in my memories.

Fill it with the flush you bring to my face.

Fill it with flowers.

Nature abhors a vacuum.

So I have been told.

I am not empty without you, per se, but there is emptiness there.

Greater than I knew.

A spot, a space, a holding space if you will.

Patient it waits for you to step back in.

They say absence makes the heart grow fonder.

If I grow any fonder I’ll die.

You indulge me.

You sustain me.

You light me up like a firefly on a hot summer night.

I think about that.

You.

And.

Hot summer nights.

I feel sixteen again.

Seventeen.

Wild.

Fraught with emotion.

Overfull with desire.

Wishing to abandon myself completely to you.

All the time.

You redeem me.

You rescue me.

When I did not know I needed rescuing.

When I am with you I am replete.

Full.

Ravished with happiness.

I am almost afraid to see your face.

Your eyes.

To touch you.

I will have to make sure you are real.

Not a dream.

Not wishful thinking.

But here.

In front of me.

Waiting for my touch.

Waiting for my kiss.

Waiting.

You have not left a void in me, but rather a space that is occupied.

Constantly.

Always.

Continuous with thoughts of you.

My heart overflows.

I find my face wet with tears for no reason.

I wake up and feel you in my body.

I close my eyes at night and see you there pressed against the backs of my lids.

Sometimes.

I can almost feel you beside me.

I lift my hand and can sense the contours of your face.

My heart batters inside my chest.

The state of being away from your person.

Makes me want to hoard you when I have you.

Makes me greedy and childish.

Wanton and lustful.

Wistful.

I wish to stockpile you so that I don’t feel that awful loneliness without you.

Irrational.

Love is abundant.

Infinite.

This love has no end.

No beginning.

It shelters me from the nights rain.

It lulls me to sleep.

I am held.

I am seen.

And in that seeing and holding.

I can do the same for you.

I see you.

Let me hold you.

Let me press against you and fill you up.

Full to overflowing.

With.

All.

My.

Love.

For.

You.

 

God, You Smell Good

November 22, 2016

“Wait, hug me again,” my friend said, “mmmhhmm, that’s what a woman should smell like.”

Aw.

Thanks man.

He was the third guy in the past twenty-four hours to tell me I smelled good.

Last night at my speaking engagement.

Tonight at my deal after work.

At least I know I have my scent dialed in.

Heh.

And my nails did.

I snuck it in between work and doing the deal.

It was a long day at work, I’m super glad I was able to take a half hour and decompress.

I came into work this morning at 8 a.m. to discover the one of the parents was staying home sick with the flu and one of the boys was off as well.

Plus the baby.

Good gravy.

It was a full day.

But.

I had some reprieve when the mom felt better and went to pick up the third boy from school and took the two boys out to an afternoon matinée.

I took the baby to the park.

She’s so much fun.

And she really is like my number one fan.

We spent a good five minutes today saying each other’s name back and forth and giggling.

She ran, I mean ran across the floor, arms upraised, “Carmen, Carmen, Carmen, Carmen,” and threw herself at me today.

I mean.

Man, it’s nice to be loved by your boss like that.

Heh.

She’s taken to kissing me and looking deeply into my eyes.

It’s pretty endearing.

The mom who was home sick today told me when she got back from the movie, “we are really going to miss you.”

Aw.

That was super nice to hear.

And when she sat down I asked her what I should do with the oldest boy, poor pumpkin had fallen asleep on the couch tonight at 5p.m.

He never naps.

He’s been sick too.

Ate almost nothing but a popsicle and some Mac N Cheese.

This morning when I showed up he hadn’t gotten out of bed yet, it was nearly 45 minutes before he stumbled down the stairs for a waffle with grandma’s strawberry jam on it.

He ate about a 1/4 of it.

I pretty much knew then.

He was super sick.

I had a passing moment.

Please, dear God, no getting sick right before  I leave for my friend’s home for Thanksgiving.

Please.

So when his mom looked on him with utter aghast befuddlement, “I don’t know, he’s never fallen asleep on the couch before, he’s just not a napper.”

“I can carry him upstairs,” I said, “and put him to bed.”

I had almost done it already, but figured I should wait for the mom’s thoughts before throwing any kind of monkey wrench in their schedule.

“I can’t, not in my state, I just, yes, can you?”  She asked ashen with her illness.

Poor sweet family.

I scooped the boy up and cradled him in my arms, he shifted, I kissed his forehead and walked slowly up the stairs whispering little sweet nothings in his ear as I held him against me.

He woke up a tiny bit and grumbled something at me and I said, “don’t worry bunny, I’m just going to snuggle you down into bed, you’re fine, mommy is coming home soon.”

“Rest,” I said and tucked him into his bed.

He turned on his night-light, it’s over his pillow mounted on the head-board of the bunk bed, and burrowed into his pillow.

“Good night sweet boy, I love you,” I said and turned off the light.

“Love you too, Carmen,” he whispered and rolled over.

Oh.

My heart.

I will miss them too.

I have quite connected with the little clan of them.

I came down and the mom was sitting on the couch with the middle boy, “thank you, so, so much, I couldn’t have carried him up.”

I was so happy to help and then the baby girl came running over, “up, up, up, Carmen, Carmen, up.”

I swung her up.

She’s totally over the flu bug that has laid the family low.

She kissed me.

She looked into my eyes, “love you Carmen.”

Oh my God.

All the love today.

It was so, well, lovely.

Then hearing a former lover tonight share and being able to sit and listen and be kind and not have judgements.

Ok.

Maybe I had a few.

But they melted away.

Just another human.

Just another person stumbling through the world.

“God, you smell so good,” he buried his face in my hair.

I could feel his breath on my neck and I thought, ok, I need to find my seat before do something stupid.

Warmth in my face as I reflect.

I’m right in the middle of the cycle and a little ramped up, even though I am tired.

Had he made a suggestion.

I might have suggested he come over.

But.

Nope.

And for the better.

There are reasons why we are not together.

Despite enjoying the compliment and watching his handsome face and big emotive brown eyes .

Best left to his own devices and I to mine.

Not to say I am not up for whatever fun the Universe has in store for me.

I absolutely am.

I am out and about in my world.

I wish to see and be seen and I’m letting myself be gentle with the whole thing.

I don’t have to manipulate it, figure it out, or make anything happen.

Life is unfolding in a delightful manner and I have no need to force the bloom to blossom faster by pulling off the petals so it will unfurl in the way I want it to.

Everything is coming up roses.

I mean.

I should know.

I smell like a bouquet of them.

Seriously.

 

 

You Smell Like A

August 9, 2016

Field of flowers.

Blush.

Thank you.

That is always the hope.

I have such a nose for needing to smell the good things, the lovely things, the dry grass, the smell of the oak trees, the bark dry, the lichen tight on the tree its own kind of scent, the curl of leaves, the soft sage and smoke smell of one of my class mates.

I’ve begun to study Gestalt.

And there is something there.

I get it.

It is very here and now.

In this moment.

And in this moment is God.

God is not in the past and God is not in the future.

God is right here, right now, in this place, in the words tumbling from my fingers onto the keyboard, the sound of music in my head phones, it is the two stars I saw falling from the sky while I was in the hot tub.

A stillness that I was in, a space, looking up and out and there, the flash on the sky.

And the creamy smoke of the Milky Way a pale smudge on the midnight blue depths above me.

I was chatting with one of my cohort and explaining the smell that she gave off.

We had to do an exercise in class in which we broke down sense by sense what we were seeing, tasting, touching, hearing, smelling.

She smelled earthy and mineral, like clean cool water, she also smelled herbaceous and of what I first thought was lavender, but was not, rather it was lingonberries, mulberries, and the smell was not so much of the berries, but of the leaves themselves, and underneath that I could smell clay and lime ash.

It was subtle and soft and powdery.

One of my classmates smelled like honeyed turmeric and ginger and saffron.

One of my classmates was blue.

But not blue in mood, just blue in color.

Not a sad blue either, rather a cerulean blue, a Dutch Boy blue, a Van Dyke Blue.

It was really an interesting experience.

My friend replied that I smelled like a field of flowers.

Success!

I wish to always smell good.

There is something divine and comforting about smells.

Wood smoke.

Hot cotton sheets, or line dried cotton sheets hot with sunshine and summer breeze and grass and clover.

Oh.

God.

The smell of clover can be so rich and intoxicating.

There is small bright, heady patch of clover that is in the Golden Gate Park smells like French music sounds to me in my head, my thoughts have smells and colors and love.

I feel loved.

I am also listening to a Spotify playlist that my friend put together for me and I feel loved and thought of and bright with that kind of joy that is bubbles in sunflower fields.

I have a bit of an imagination.

Thank you God for this experience.

I feel a lot more settled, a lot more connected, and a lot more myself.

Familiarity has not bred contempt, but rather a kind of closeness that can be unbearable until I just collapse and accept it and let it all in.

We are so lonely in this part of town

The sweep of the music, the golden spires of notes, the spheres sing and the stars fall over the fields of dry grass the deer pass through the shadows of the trees from the moonlight cadence and I dance here, in my bed a slow shifting of love and acceptance and ease.

Thank you my friend.

Thank you for loving me.

I love you too.

Very much.

I may not be able to put together the best mixed tape ever, but I can put down some of the words and the feelings and the colors.

The images and sensations that I get to have.

So many.

Memories and love and tenderness and hot days and summer, grass, apple trees, the wind in the lilacs, the heady bowed over blooms of peonies on the edge of the border of lawn between houses.

A revelation.

Instead of a fence to keep you out.

Instead of a wall that you have to climb.

Or one that I have to knock down.

Perhaps all I need is a field of flowers to keep my safe.

Just a little border there between you and me, a sweet, soft, petal, a musical of blossoms blowing over the grass, the apples like paper sails of hope and dreams and the reverence of of sunshine on my soul.

Clots of dandelion seeds.

Wishes on the air.

The organ grinder and the ferris wheel splayed against the spread of heavens and the carnival swings into gear and the smell of hot cotton candy and the soft powder of sawdust and popcorn.

Summer.

Cut grass.

All the memories all the evocations.

The witchery and the bright eye turned to the coin in the sky.

Money that cannot be spent except in reverence to the moment unfolding.

Always.

All the time.

Sunshine.

Burn it the sunshine.

These coins I carry in my pocket, pennies and coppers and two bits of silver that are just slices and slivers of time that I cannot spend but with you.

Bright notes bell on the guitar string.

Somewhere between my heart and my head I settle into a place and soften, let go, and give you all the pain.

Because I don’t have to carry it alone.

I never did.

My mistake.

I lay it now down in that field of flowers.

A crushing outline of my body in the tall grass wrought with wildflowers.

Alive.

To get up and walk away and hold my hand out to you over the carcasses of flowers adorned to my body.

I am here.

You are there.

And in this field.

We are everywhere.

All stars.

All love.

All bound for this moment.

This here.

This now.

Love.

Love.

I have paid my dues.

Take my hand and let’s run breathless toward that bright horizon always pushing toward the moment up the road, to that crest.

There.

Just there.

Just here.

Just Now.

Just.

And always.

And.

Forever.

Love.


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