Monday, February 24, 2003

The Sensation of Smell

Just about every morning that I wake up, when I’m not too lazy, I meander out of bed, put my coffee on, and hop in the shower to wake my sorry self up. I was following this routine this morning—got up, put the Columbian in the coffee maker, and then migrated to the bathroom for a shower. I got into the shower, leaving the water a little bit cold initially so that it would wake me up. There really is nothing like cold water on the body to jolt you into consciousness after a solid night’s sleep. As I was washing my hair with my Suave mellon-scented shampoo, I caught a whiff of scent that threw my memory into action. It is positively amazing how one small smell can trigger so much. It’s almost as if every scent is like a key that unlocks some small part of your memory and in this particular occasion, a part of my memory that hadn’t been unlocked in a long time was opened.

The smell of the shampoo sent me reeling back to senior year of high school, specifically track season. I was reminded of the days we had track practice in the beautiful, sunny, warm days of early spring. We’d have a long outdoor run, I’d do my triple jumping, do my sprint workout, hit the weight room, and then hit the showers. After practice, our team would hang out in the lunchroom of the school, often waiting for our rides home, or waiting to give people rides home. The smell of the shampoo was the smell that I always got in that lunchroom after practice because the girls would always make themselves smell so nice so that they wouldn’t betray the fact that they had just gotten all sweaty and grimy practicing. They didn’t want to smell because that was ungirly. Instead they’d wash up extra good so that they would smell like girl again. That smell was one that I lived for everyday. It was such a sweet and wonderful scent that I now always associate with the combination of spring, track, and girls.

It really is weird that this would be the memory that came to mind this morning as it has felt so much like spring this last week, especially with having some days where the temperatures would be in the 40’s, however today was a return to the winter grind as it was only -4 degrees out as I came to work this morning. I have this duality on my thoughts about spring. I always want it to get here, yet I don’t want it to be here. I love it because of the warm, sunny days, but I also hate it because I’ve also always associated spring with an ending. High school and college always ended during the spring, and that ending always scared me because I never wanted to move on. Right now I feel that same way. I’m here in my senior year of college and spring is upon us. I only have a little over two months of school left and then I will be so close to ending another chapter in my life. I know that as one chapter ends, another will start, but I’m always afraid that the next chapter may not live up what has been laid down in the past, and there’s also always the possibility that it might be the last chapter. I hate thinking about the future because endings are always in the future. When you’re in the now, everything is in the process of happening and I don’t have any worries. I like the here and now, the future is a scary and undetermined place……

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