everything smells
February 26, 2002 03:05 PM

i quit smoking. sort of. again.

i'm not sure i could have moved away from the water if i hadn't been a dedicated smoker at the time. i might have noticed how well the salt breeze covered the ick that was everything else.

i contend that the urban world is better smelled from behind a cloud of smoke. not just the obvious exhaust and fermentation of cars and trash, but the subtle things. living around the block from so many restaurants and their intermingled food smells. people who smoke. dogs. cheese. meat. your sweated out perfume. the insides of office buildings. standing water. gravelly dirt (it absorbs all the other bad smells for later rebroadcasts).

everything just smells so much, and the good smells are such light notes compared to. i mean, on a warm day, you can smell your cement sidewalk. it's horrid. and it's not that all urban smells are awful, particularly southern ones (blooming magnolias and hot streets, for instance, is a smell like an extraordinary thai meal). it's just that so many of them are noxious and vaguely smoky, which means that smoke, like defocusing your eyes on those mall posters, reveals the subtler fragrances.

maybe i need to get away. drive a few miles and smell walnuts fallen from trees. or water.

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