Monday, January 29, 2007

Just Exercising The Writing With My Sense of Smell

Exhaust fumes breathed through her hotel window. She rose with a cough and dragged herself out of lemon-scented blankets. The city's air was musty and an unfamiliar place to her. A few rooms away the office girls prepared the first batch of coffee. The aroma of coffee beans clashed with the putrid stench of garbage cans. A mixture of bleach and water, sprayed from the street cleaner, sharply ascended into a smoggy sky.

She woke her son, packed their bags and headed for the car.

Eventually the chemicals cleared out of their lungs as a fresh ocean breeze tickled their noses. The boy opened the window and inhaled. He never thought that the smell of salt water could be so invigorating.

The man in the parking lot booth reeked of cheap perfume and unwashed clothes. He gave the woman a free parking ticket and pointed in the direction for crew parking. The air was clean here.

Fried eggs and bacon sizzled as they approached the set of their new movie. She parked the car close by, but even then, the assigned driver pulled up behind them in a brand new van and ushered them inside. It had that sanitary-new-car interior odor that made one feel rich.

She and her son then downed some scrambled eggs with a hint of cheese and green onions. Freshly squeezed orange juice washed down the extra patties of sausages and steaming hash browns before the child was taken away for his close-up.

He was brave, really, at least he didn't complain when they told him he would have to enter the cold water. A whiff of salt stung his nostrils, but he smiled nonetheless. His co-star splashed him playfully. The boy, in turn, drenched her hair in sea water and scents of cucumber floated by.

Seagulls flew overhead disturbing his world. The smell of bacon, eggs and greasy sausages still clung to his skin, and were most likely what they hunted. He shooed them away and they flew to the odors of the nearest trash can.

At day's end, the woman wrapped a rosy towel around him. Fresh flowers, weaved through the towel's very essence, comforted his cold and aching bones. It was a good day's work, they all said so. He just smiled and walked closer to his mother; coconut suntan lotion on brown skin was familiar and strangely soothing.

Back at base camp, the child stopped to enjoy the warmth of the crackling fire in the caterer's barbecue pit. On top of burning coals and woodchips sizzled the tri-tip and rows of white corn.

When the sun finally ran its course, their bags were strewn in the back of their car. The boy reeked of salt, smoke and a mixture of fruit and barbecued meat. Someone carried him and gently placed his sleeping body onto the front seat, patted the sand of his feet and covered him with a sleeping bag.

The woman prepared for the two and half hour drive home to her countryside. She couldn't wait to leave the city and once again inhale clean air. Maybe the homemade apple pies already sat in the baker's window with warm cider on the wood-burning stoves. Hopefully the cows have all gone to sleep.

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