“Wanna know what it smells like outside today?”

His spoonful of maple flavored oatmeal clatters back into the blue breakfast bowl.

“No, not really.”

“Like Damp Dust.”

“How can damp dust have a distinctive odor?”

“Ya know, like just before rain. It’s low on the scale. Not the 10 of irrigated pollinating corn tassels, or the 5 of Wet Dog.”

I might have been a Bassett hound or beagle in a past life. Maybe working for police departments or airport TSA.

“Oh, there is some actual smell detection scale now? Do you happen have a switch to shut that off while I am eating or stuff some cotton up there?”

“Eww, no. Then, I could smell Hospital. Another 10 on the scale.”

He rubs his forehead and makes another stab at the oatmeal.
I want to moan about a lingering burnt toast air, but it could be from a wood burning stove.
I even smell in my dreams. I hold them close. Lilacs, rosemary, sleepy puppies. I have wished many a time for less in both my frontal lobe and my bright broca speech center. One must be cautious as to what one prays for.

“Remember when I had a concussion in 2002
And every thing smelled like Cheetosocks for a year?”

Sound of Crickets.

Yet I live here.
A place where a sulfuric stream seeps from feedlots and pig farms. Where I can smell hail a half hour in advance. Just after it pounds onion fields in Longmont to pulp. I can smell tornados coming and going in the distance.

“Corn bread done?” he attempts a subject change, regretting it immediately.

“No, but your milk only has 12 hours before it sours.”

The corn bread browns as his car disappears toward town. Toward the acrid sludge ponds by the factory and drive thru windows.

McDonalds or Subway? I wonder. Oh, I’ll be able to tell tomorrow as I slide his shirts into the unscented laundry soap.

French fries. Definitely French fries, with a pile of ranch dressing.

I relax with a cup of plain hot water. I nibble on a rice cake.
Perfect. No taste. No Smell. No nothing.


  1. that smelllllllllllllllllllllll again egads! peace I pray for you yes I do. the hunters – look at our noses, nostrils — certainly not delicate button noses. ahh. but aint life grand!

    1. oh, ya, you are right. There was a purpose in our ancestory for this skill. Wow, I bet if I lived 200 years ago, I would have been The Woman Who Smells Bison From 1000 Paces.

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