The Scent Lingers

I walked into my local library for the first time since mid-summer. I haven’t been there since I took my last exam. It was about to close, but I just wanted to peek in and see if I wanted to start going there again to review (hopefully not for an exam again–still haven’t gotten my results–but to keep up and to stay on top of things). The moment I walked in there was that familiar scent that it had. Somehow certain triggers of the senses can bring back odd memories.

I have written a post about my buddy Todd before. The post is from a May 30th post, in case you want to go back and read it. We had become pretty good friends over the time that we studied together. In that time, I learned he was also in the closet and extremely afraid of coming out to his family. Our friendship formed because of the commonality of studying for the medical boards. Over time however, it became a friendship based on other common ground.

When we were parting ways (he had opted to start his rotations up in the northern states) he told me that he had written a letter for me and also made a CD with a song that made him always think of me. This small gesture amazed me because every person I form a friendship/relationship with always gets a song dedication from me. I was afraid to tell him that I had done the same thing because I didn’t want him to think I was cheesy. So we exchanged the music and to this day, the song that causes his memory to make laps backwards to find me is my favorite. He recently told me that the song I dedicated to him is on “replay” on his CD. It’s even become his boyfriend’s favorite song. Yes, the lucky dawg has a boyfriend (both of them in the closet–it may be cramped, but at least they aren’t lonely).

When I walked into the library, the smell of the cleaning solution they use, the cardboard/paper of the older books, and the carpet freshner all mixed together brought me back to the times when we would study together. I swore I could even hear the laughter of him and his friends. There was a new set of students sitting at OUR tables. They looked tired, stressed but happy.

The loudspeaker announced that the library would be closing in fifteen minutes. I took another whiff of memories. Awesome. I’d have more time to take in some memories later in the week when I came back to read some medical books.

I took out my cell phone and dialed his number as the sliding doors closed behind me…please pick up….a click and then a familiar voice said “hey buddy, I was just wondering how your trip back to Florida went”…..


8 Responses to “The Scent Lingers”

  1. Lemuel Says:

    hmmm. Sometimes our connections with each other are awesome.

  2. "Joe" Says:

    You go, bro.

  3. Steven Says:

    Amazing how a smell or slight sound can transport us to another time and place and make the past memories seem like yesterday.

  4. KipEsquire Says:

    Smell is the most emotive/evocative of the senses because most people can’t recreate scents in their mind’s eye the way we can imagine/recreate images or sounds. So the memory connected with an old smell hits us more intensely precisely because we don’t recreate it in our imagination all the time as we do sights and sounds.

    Cheers. =)

  5. stevewhirlyworld Says:

    You sound really good John…really good. Congratulations.

  6. BruceCleveland Says:

    Mine song to you would actually be a soundtrack…Grease! And will definitely never change if we end up seeing it in NYC ! I know we talked prior to it but I think that during that Grease You;re the one that I Want was on is when you and I really started talking and becoming friendly. I will always remember you, because of it, when I hear the soundtrack to Grease…any soundtrack really but the new one most.

  7. Steven Says:

    What a great post! I will have those same “scent trips” every now and then. And then there are the songs that remind me of a particular guy I was dating. Or what we were doing/where we were going when the song came on.

  8. Daniel Says:

    What a cool memory.

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