Thursday, May 9, 2019

The Scent of Grief

Young men and their body sprays. Some days we had to laugh because we could smell you coming down the hallway before we could even see you. There were times I joked about hiding it from him because it seemed like he would bathe in the stuff. He would ask before heading out "Do I smell okay?" I would smile, "Yes, it may be a little strong there kiddo." He would assure me that the scent would wear off during the day. The times he sprayed it in the car, we would be gasping for air and need to roll the windows down. That kind of gave me a clue as to why he got suspended from the bus for a week when he "accidentally" sprayed it on the bus. That boy loved his cologne and body spray. It was a bit of an annoyance and a bit humorous at the same time.
Every now and then I will walk past a young man wearing just a little bit too much of one of Zuka's favorite scents and his memory whisps by me. I catch it and breath him in. For a moment I even turn my head in hopes that maybe he is there. It's silly, of course, he isn't there but for a moment my olfactory sense sends a message to my brain that Zuka's scent is near and my heart yearns to believe it to be true.

I find myself opening the storage containers to smell his deodorant, his old shirts, anything that smells like him. Incredible how much memory is sparked by a scent. It's funny what you miss when someone is gone.

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