Alright, sunshine. this is your fault. I want you to know. I am having slow day at work and you liked my writing. I too ka stroll through your blog again and pulled out a little to write with. This one is written for you.
There’s a special smell for memories. Did you know that? The soft sweet smell of aging photos and long forgotten love letters hidden in a decopaged box under my bed. Mixed with the petals of roses dried long ago, and concert tickets that have curled at the edges but still smell slightly of beer. That is the smell of memories.
Tonight, I am surrounded by it. Sprawled on my bedroom floor, pillow under my stomach, tissues close at hand, I am reliving my life.
No, I am not dying; although sometimes the lonliness and despair I feel creeping into the edge of my sanity makes me feel like it. No, I have not lost someone, although I suppose I have lost all of the things in these photos laying infront of me.
No, tonight, for a reason I cannot understand now, I felt like remembering what it was like- long before cell phones, email and computers. When letters were written by hand and gas at 50 cents a gallon was, as my mother put it, “highway robbery.” That was my time. When mix tapes were still cool and he CD hadn’t been thought of yet.
Was it simpler then? It must have been. I can still think of those times and wonder how I could have been so innocent. Yet, I do not resent myself. I just appreciate that there isn’t much of that in me anymore, but I wish there was.
Do girls still remember their first kiss? I do. How it felt, what he looked like, the feeling of my jacket scratching against my collar as I pulled back beneath the light of my front porch. I remember the chill of the evening and the horrible feeling I got in the pit of my stomach when I stepped through the door and daddy ws still standing there. And then he said, “He better treat you right, child, or there will be hell to pay.” Yes, daddy. Of course, daddy. Good night. It was 11 and well past my bedtime.
I wonder, will my children ever have cards from their birthdays? Will they know that Christmas is not swapping gift cards at the local buffet? Will they know what want is, or how it feels to get something you had to workreally hard for? I hope so. I hope they learn that pictures come from film, that you develop it at the drugstore and pray to god it doesn’t get lost in the mail.
My first pen pal. I remember how she and I made up nicknames for eachother. I saved my allowance all summer to meet her at the fair and I got in huge trouble the night I snuck a long distance phone call in and we fell asleep on the phone together.
Sifting through the pictures, I see bits of myself I had forgotten. I was a consumate roller skater, and went to skating parties and was quite the dish.
My first cat was yellow and he had a white spot on his tail. I called him marmalade.
My grandpa wore Stetson. I can still smell him if I close my eyes really tight. We used to sit on the porch and talk about when he owned a horse ranch. I can still feel the splinters from the swing he made and hear the sound of his neighbors voice calling over the road, would I like some ice cream.
Sometimes, I wish I could forget. When I think of lost love. When I think of friends gone. But tonight, I am grateful to know that I can still remember these things.
Maybe, somewhere, they are out there thinking of me too. It’s a comforting thought, as I cry over my first boyfriend, my best friend who moved to Florida, and the dog I got when I moved out of my parents house and went to college. I still have her collar. Her name was Molly.
Yes, memories have a very special smell. Roses, tears, salt and paper. The softest, most painful, yet beautiful smell I can think of. Smell of love. Smell of loss.
The smell of age. And youth.