Saturday, September 01, 2007

Walk n'Sniff

"Here's one you'd like, 'Snowfall on Forty-second Street.'"

She took the cylinder and screwed it into the box. Then she helped Harold adjust the mask over his nose.

"Ready?" she said and threw the switch. The lights went on and the pistons began to pump. "Okay. What do you smell?"

Harold closed his eyes and breathed in slowly.

"Subways," he said surprisedly.

Maude grinned. "Go on."

"Perfume ... cigarettes ... cologne ..." He became more and more excited. "Carpet ... roasting chestnuts .... Snow!"

I was thinking as I walked tonight how my senses get a workout as much as my legs, and how it's too bad I can't share the sounds – crickets, cicadas, owls, trains, highway, barking dogs, sprinklers – or the smells.

Tonight I was noticing a scent peculiar to this time of year: fermenting apples. Backyard apple trees are starting to drop their crop, and it's been quite warm, so the windfalls are releasing that distinctive sweet-sour odor.

There are other smells, too, and it's fun to try identifying them: flowers, dryer vents (Bounce!), diesel exhaust, bad dumpster (ick), rain.

Lacking Maude's "Odorifics," I can only suggest you imagine them. Or come visit and walk with me.

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