The 1st of February 1990 – Bloomington, Indiana

(found on the shore of Miller Park Lake)

Dear Trixie,

I wish you were here. I wish you could be right here, next to me, because you ought to, you just deserve it, is all. I wish you were here to see what I see, here to hear what I hear and to smell what I smell.

Something’s changed. Something’s happened. Whatever it is that we were working towards has been realized, I think.

I can’t get that smell out of my mind, Trixie. It’s enveloped me. It’s this musk, this intoxicating, uplifting musk that has cloaked me. I can’t smell anything else. The sweetness from a bunch of roses, the acidic bouquet of an uncorked merlot – nothing seems to be able to punch through this musk that I smell, this smell that I have become. I cannot escape this scent of heavy fog and dewy moss that now buffers me from the rest of the world.

“Have I done something wrong?” That was my first thought. What have I done, what has happened to me?

I thought it was something in my bedroom, but a search revealed no malodorous miscreant, and a window thrown open to the fresh breeze blowing over the lake failed to relieve my nostrils of this smell.

I smell it on me. I smell it in me. I smell it everywhere and all around me, and it reminds me of myself and my potential and my place. I don’t know if anyone else can smell it.

Perhaps this is my essence, and I should be worried that it is leaking out into the world, escaping from me and leaving me dry, leaving me with less than what I am. But the cloud does not seem to thin. I stood on the shore and let the wind whip past me, and all the while I had the musk forced through my nostrils. I stood beneath a shower head too, and I scrubbed and scrubbed with soap and water and then sprayed myself with some of Dana’s Eau de Cologne, but still, when I whiffed the air that musk wafted into my nose.

I could say that I’m getting sick of the stench, that it’s becoming boring and trite and tiresome, but I love that it’s there. It’s as if the smell is reminding my brain of some primal instincts, urging me to jump and shout and run.

I keep staring out the window, Trixie. I’m watching the cars go past and the people walk by and the animals play in the bushes and the trees, and I smell that smell, and I feel like joining them.

What have I done? What has happened to me?

I need to see you soon, before this goes away.

Love,

Todd

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