Tuesday, September 9, 2008

smelly memory

a few days ago i went thrifting and came home with a few choice items. i hand washed these and left them to dry in the bathtub. afterwards, every time i went into the bathroom, i was hit with this certain smell....a smell like wet coats hung up in the hall to dry, with a touch of soap or dryer sheet. exactly like the smell of the hallway in my old illinois apartment building.

at this time of year as the season just barely begins to change, i think back to moving to illinois from arkansas, to my first good apartment, and being alone in it after my family had left. the promise of a fresh start, crisp blue skies, all walks through fallen leaves to the library or the parking lot or to a snug bar downtown...the future promise of good steam heat, promised by the wet coat laundry smell in the basement near the boiler the super will light in a couple of months, steaming up through my clicking, tapping radiator vents to fog the windows and turn the streetlights into fuzzy halos.

coming home from the library, wooly-gloved hands full of books to read in bed under blankets. sweet garret life, traded in for sunny skies and Santa Ana winds.

1 comment:

Kate Lord Brown said...

Hi MJ - lovely post (change of seasons always so evocative). Glad to have found your blog - through a mutual like of 'Poetics of Space' (and I thought I was the only one - amazingly there are a whole 14 of us on the blogosphere). Best wishes