I chase the odor from fridge to garbage, garbage to drain, drain to pantry, pantry to beneath and beyond cabinets. My diligence only results in expanding the miasma’s awareness of me. Once It becomes aware, It stalks me in earnest. No amount of showering, scrubbing, or sanitizing, will deter it. Escape is impossible. Even outside, the breeze brings sudden wisps of…what is it? The redolence of Dismay? The Stench of Disappointment, Betrayal?
It’s not innocent like the odor of pubescent children in a fourth grade classroom, or the miasma of wet dog.
It’s not contrived like the odor of tar or burning rubber.
This is a darker funk. It begins in nightmares, circumstances beyond my kitchen.
Recent worldly concerns seep into awareness, despite my withdrawl, and are foul indeed. But are they intense enough to disturb vital senses?
“Today is Stephanie’s birthday,” my computer announces. But Stephanie died years ago.
“Warning: the following pictures are disturbing.” I’m already disturbed.
“Have you no empathy for one who lashes out in anger, one who gives orders to destroy?” NO! I do not.
I prefer the smell of cinnamon, lemon. A bathed and powdered baby.
Freshly steeped tea.
I will not be overcome!
What’s a person to do?
Forgive and forget. Cultivate compassion. Blow softly on your thumbnail. Press on the point above your lip. Walk away. Walk as far as you’re able. Stay upright. Move forward. Don’t dwell on the past. Don’t fret the future.
Still, something smells wrong.