The other day I met one of my closest friends in Berkeley; we met for a girl’s night out: dinner and drinks and pedicures. We had a blast talking about our girls, swapping stories, and general catching up. I treated myself to a pair of cute dragonfly earrings when I went into a shop to make change. I picked out a bright, teal-colored toenail polish. I listened to Bob Dylan and Tom Petty on my 40-minute drive. I loved the few hours break from nursing and potty-training, trading it for drinking beer, laughing, a foot massage, and… the smell of Indian food.
I stood waiting a few minutes standing in front of the restaurant, with the aromatic smell of garlic and burnt oil mixing in the air, and something about it stirred in me a longing for the times that Andy and I went out for Indian food. The buttery naan, the faint fragrance of coconut married with coriander. The memory dropped on me like a ton of bricks: the night in London, after one too many beers, laughing way too hard, and tracking down the best place for Chicken Tikka Masala in all of Britain. I could almost see the street; almost remember the conversation, the view hazy from the years of separation.
Smell is such a powerful sense. Sometimes I’ll be running in the early morning and I’ll catch the faint scent of dirt and the hot air and suddenly I’m 18 again, running along the American River Trail, chatting with my teammates. Coppertone sunscreen equals days on end at Lake Mead. The aroma of freshly cut grass reminds me of my Dad, working in the yard every Saturday morning. Freshly baked bread will forever remind me of my mother. And, now the smell of curry mingled with paprika reminds me of Andy.
Ahh, love really does stink.