Friday, November 7, 2008

The Nose Knows

This morning while taking out the trash-
that consisted of burnt fish grease,
some gangrene-colored ham,
a rotten potato,
and the remnants of some
I realized that smells
are a giant part of our lives.

It all starts when we're born.

Somehow that smell of our mama
is so special
that we reject most other people's
attempt to cradle us.

And at the point where we start
eating food,
we already know by the smell
that we do not want the
organic creamed peas with
tender carrot chunks-
and if we are forcibly fed
such a putrid concoction-
we will either puke it up
or throw it against the wall.

If it wasn't for our sense of smell,
mothers would have a hard time
managing the personal hygiene of
their infants.
Other than the fact that the kid is
semi-hidden behind the Little Tykes
princess castle
grunting like a Sasquatch
and turning a funny shade of red,
how would anyone know that
it's time for a diaper change?

Again, it's that gift of smell
that leads us to look down to find
the flowing diarrhea pooling dangerously close
to the TV remote.
If it wasn't for the smell-
who knows how long it would be
before a busy mom starts to
change the TV channel
and realizes that it can't be
pudding on her hands because
they haven't had any pudding lately-
and then says - Oh, I bet the baby pooped.

If you think about it,
smell can actually lead us to our life mate.

When I was dating, I personally found
that kissing a guy who just had
a Big Mac with extra onions
to be totally unattractive.
And anyone who came near me
whose mother had smothered his
winter coat in mothballs,
might as well get lost.

I can almost remember knowing
exactly how my husband's skin smelled
when we met.
It was musky and manly and
made just for me.
It's difficult to pin point it now
because our smells have fused
together into one.
I think that happens when you're
in love.

The seasons all have their unique smells,too.

In Spring, we love the smell
of daffodils and lilacs
and the sweet air after a rain.

In Summer, it's the freshly mowed grass,
the odor of a chlorinated pool,
the earthy dirt of an upturned garden.

In fall, it's the sassafras and cut hay
and pumpkin pie.

Winter brings us sugar cookie smells
and the essence of pine and spice and

If food didn't smell so wonderful,
I have a sneaky suspicion
that we'd all be thin and healthy.

We'd choose water to drink
over the double chocolate cappucino
with chocolate sprinkles and
mountain of whipped cream.
We would have tofu and granola
over a grilled cheeseburger
with extra special sauce.

Our nose would no no difference
in the expired milk or the new jug-
between a fart cloud and cotton candy,
between last weeks lunch meat
or the fresh bologna.

Yeah, I started thinking about smells
when I tackled that darn trash bag
and wrestled it out the door
and into the garage.
And suddenly...
I am starting to get
a funny whiff of ...a rotten fish
or ...a... puff of B-O-ish type fragrance...
that might possibly be
what has soaked the entire left side
of my pajama pants.

Good thing I can smell.
Because how else would I know
that it's time to take a shower?