Sunday, June 12, 2016
In my 30's I noted that the smell of leather had become abhorrent to me but when I asked a friend to tell me what my coat smelled like, he said, "leather, it smells good." From then on I paid a small attention, mostly to those things I could remember the smell of well because I loved their smell. Lemons, Nasturtiums, tomato plants, all kinds of herbs, a good perfume. Now flowers and leaves must be brought very close to my nose and often the smell is so far away so weak, that it almost isn't there. Sometimes I lie and say, "ummm that smells good." In my memory it does. Occasionally a smell will surprise me - amazing as it is that I can identify its source. Mostly I smell nothing at all. That lack does affect how food tastes, but I've adapted. I do not know how I smell, if I do - or my house though I am constantly cleaning it with things that sound like they should smell good. The sense of smell has not completely gone - it's always a surprise when I can smell something even at a distance. Lilacs for instance I can smell a block away. Certain perfumes - I suspect they are the good ones, if there are "good" ones. Sometimes I can smell food cooking and it is always a wonderful smell. I remember my daughter's hair and how good to bury my nose in it any old time. In any event, this loss is a sustainable loss, inconvenient but not dangerous. Just a small betrayal by a body once delightfully young and strong and now growing old.