Follow Your Nose

By

Follow Your Nose
Michelle can smell her ex, Alex, everywhere.

I think my nose is leading a mutiny against me. I'll go days without even a thought of Alex, and then all of a sudden I'll get a whiff of something that will bring back a flood of memories and interrupt my day.

For example: While I was dressing for work earlier this week (in the record-breaking heat, I might add), I reached for my favorite warm-weather perfume. The same perfume I used to spritz on before summer dates with Alex last year. Needless to say, this was a bad idea.

 

As soon as it hit my wrist, I was inundated with memories of happy days with Alex. I saw myself in the car with him, driving to meet some friends for drinks. I remembered us spending a lazy Saturday morning in our local coffee shop. I swear I could hear the sounds of the fireworks we once watched while perched on a bridge in town.

This is hardly the first time my nose has betrayed me. A few months ago, I smelled his cologne on a passing stranger and thought of little else for the rest of the day. But a new season means new scents, and after spending the last two summers with Alex, it's strange to start one without him.

It seems personal fragrances are only the beginning. Strangely enough, I associate smells with Alex that essentially have nothing to do with him. The festering smell of the warm subway, for instance (gross, I know, but hear me out). Alex and I were never really in New York together, but since I spent a lot of time with him last summer while I commuted into the city to work, I pair that terrible odor with him (poor guy). I can remember standing down there after work, waiting for the subway that would take me to the bus that would take me to Alex.

Sometimes I can't even pinpoint the scent, or the memory for that matter. It might just be a passing thought tied to a cleaning solution in my office or someone's shampoo in the elevator. These attacks of vivid memories are getting to be a pain, but luckily there's been enough time between the breakup and now (about six months) that they've lost their sting. Still, they're here and as lucid as ever.

There's an old saying: "don't cut off your nose to spite your face." The meaning may not apply here, but with every new scent-memory interruption, I'm becoming more and more tempted to cut the stupid thing off anyway. If I don't stand up to it soon, it might convince my ears and mouth to join le resistance against my single-girl sanity, and nothing good can come of that.

 
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