Smell

The other day I was chopping some cilantro and some garlic and there was a cooked sweet potato near me. Nothing else to smell, just maybe the kitchen, though nothing much was going on yet. The pan was warming up some oil. It was the early evening and I had just gotten home so there might have also been some random smell attached to what I was wearing- you know how sometimes you bring smells back with you? Well my hands were working on dinner and my mind was thinking of… I don’t know, nothing.  And suddenly I was back and about to get into my dad’s Volaré, back as a little kid, little enough that I didn’t have to duck at all to get into the car but on the contrary, lift my leg up high. The car was green and the seats were beige, like either vinyl or leather beige, like a beige gray. My parents were divorced so he’d pick us up on Saturdays and take us for the day. There was always a mini candy waiting for each of us in the Volaré. As adults he had told me once that he had the candy as an incentive for us to get into the car without dilly-dally and also because a part of him would worry we might not want to get in so the candy was insurance.  He didn’t know he didn’t need it but it also worked. And I was back there,  that little kid again. swinging my leg onto the seat to slide into the middle where the candy would wedge itself between seat and seat back. And in the bright light of that morning I could see my legs and my white shoes and he was there and I was there with him and my brothers and it was another amped up Saturday morning and I was glad. I felt a calm in me.  We were where we were supposed to be- a “home” of sorts was Saturday morning.  And then I am back at my cutting board and everything stops. And I can’t believe it and look around at my hands and the knife and the food and the floor of the kitchen and I try to get it back really quick get it back just for a moment please just one more little moment. And I know it’s all come back to me through smell, up my nose to back in time.  From somewhere.  And I just can’t put it back together.  But I’ve had that. In the past and right then. So much to appreciate.  So much to mourn. To be so lucky to have ever had that!  Oh smell…

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