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Scents

Scents are never just scents.
They are memories;
Pleasant, embarrassing, painful.
Or memories of those memories
exaggerated, romanticized, underrated
blown out of proportion.
And we fall in love with some scents
trying to relive
a romanticized memory
of a cherished moment.
Or we start hating some
along with an overrated memory
of a dreaded
yet a not-so-life-changing experience.

I remember the night
we found love and each other.
Perhaps my memory is distorted
by time and imagination,
and myths, subtly placed
between the empty spaces.
But I remember the scents;
Glycerin soap and henna shampoo,
moisturizer with cocoa and
your very masculine musk deodorant.
Perhaps apple wine too
and the weak smell
of sunshine trapped in wool.

And all these years,
I have been trying to escape
the memories and the scents.
I would love to relive that night
with the stolen scents
from the beloved past.
But the memories never stop there.
They always take me
to memories of other memories,
making my failures and mistakes
look bigger than they actually were.
Making those sleepless nights stretch
longer than a night possibly could.
Making those scratches from long ago
appear like deep wounds.

I keep buying a different soap every month
to brush away any memories
that could have accidentally crept in.
I haven’t used a moisturizer in years,
they come in a limited number of fragrances.
I haven’t taken out my woolens
from the cheap duffel bag.

I’m afraid one day
I’ll run out of new scents to buy.
To chase away the old ones
with the imprisoned memories.
And then I will probably tell you
about my fears and griefs and losses.
And about the scents
that chase me with them.

You will call the scent a metaphor.
I would argue that it is metonymy.

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2 Comments

  1. hemkumardr says:

    scents indeed are best trigger of memories.may be thats why the term nos(e)talgia is coined
    -hemkumardr.wordpress.com

    Liked by 1 person

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