February Focus: Day 18
Apparently it smells like chlorine out there. I’ve only got anecdotal evidence right now, but it’s believable, considering what a disaster the past few weeks have been. But even if it were true, I’d have no way of knowing. This is month sixteen without a sense of smell, and I hate how I’ve let it become a part of my personality. It’s incredibly frustrating not knowing what things smell like. I could stink for all I know. My home could smell of garbage or cat litter. Do I have body odor? What does this vape smell like? And how about New York City itself? Apparently it reeks, and I’m just walking around in it, none the wiser.
I don’t know how annoying I get about this part of my life, but it’s something that happened because of the thing that happened to all of us. So I’d hope for maybe just the tiniest bit of sympathy when I ask you to hear my plight about how much it sucks to be scentless in this day and age.
When we write about what we see or hear, we can paint a picture to set the scene. We can describe what something feels like or tastes like by setting up the actions surrounding it. But a scent passes through undetected. It’s the one thing that’s truly invisible. You can’t hear it, see it, or touch it, but have the chance to taste it if it’s pungent enough. The fact that practically nothing enters my nostrils is an annoyance I can’t begin to describe. “Pretend you don’t smell this,” I say, jamming a candle under someone’s nose. It can’t be done. My receptors have turned off. Yours haven’t. And I really need some honesty about what bouquet is emitting off me.
It’s maddening to not know what you smell like. Out of all the things, this one hurts the most. I’m left to rely on sight and feel when it comes to my body’s health. There’s nothing else I can tap into. I’m simply guessing what my ‘brand’ is, without a clue of whether or not it’s worth it. And there isn’t a single person on earth who’s going to be honest with me about that. At least not right now. And I worry about missing more of life’s scents the longer this goes on, like catching a whiff of my man’s natural ingredients, or the scent of my child’s head as I rock him or her to sleep. I’ve been robbed of this for no good reason, and it may take the rest of my life to grieve the loss.
There doesn’t even seem to be a point to this entry. I’m mad I lost my sense of smell and I don’t know if I’ll ever get over it, actually. I don’t know how anyone could. It’s not like I’m at the end of my life and am old enough to not care if my sniffer breaks. I’ve still got a lot of life left in me, and I hope I have a chance to make some ‘scents’ out of all this. It’s the one thing I don’t want to be a defeatist over, but I may just have to get used to the idea of adding “through good smells and bad” to my vows.
I guess this is just my own little cautionary tale about not taking any natural function for granted. Especially now, as they hurl far more desperate attacks on the people to try and stonewall us back into submission. Will chemical warfare affect me if I can’t detect it? Maybe it’s a more useful asset than I think. I’ll let you know if I ever feel okay about it. Until then, enjoy the scent of the sea for me. It’s the one thing I miss the most.