Saturday, August 27, 2005

Popcorn Portal

I've made reference to smells here a few times. I must have an over sensitive nose or something, but smells really can make or break your day. Sometimes you can be simply sitting at work and something will waft past you, and just like that, you're brought back to a wonderific memory. Conversely, you could be sitting in the same chair, and smell...let's say...someone who just got a coffee at a convenience store, and ew, you're face is scrunched up and you're sticking your aroma therapy headache cream up your nostrils to block out the smell.

Not that I would know anything about that.

Yesterday someone in the office made popcorn. The minute I smelled it, I thought of indoor recess.

Growing up in Connecticut, there were many a day in which our precious time on the playground was yanked from us due to rain or snow. On these occasions, we would be relegated to drawing pictures, reading books or playing hangman. I think they even let us go to the gym sometimes to play indoor soccer or basketball. On special days though, we'd get to watch a movie.

We'd all pile into the hall downstairs-because it was the longest, and also because it had no windows. 30 or 40 of us crammed into the dark spaces, making sure we weren't sitting next to someone with cooties and also positioning ourselves just so, so that we could see our crush but they couldn't see us. And then...the roll of brown paper towels would circulate.

It was always taken directly off of the closest bathroom's paper towel dispenser, and for some reason, it was always new. It was so exciting to see that roll of paper towels coming around, because we knew we'd get to have popcorn.

For some reason, even today, at 29 years of age, I still can picture 1 particular snowy day in which we marched down the stairs and eagerly waited for the TV cart to be rolled to the front the hallway. We watched An American Tale-or part of it. That was the downer, you never got to finish the whole movie. I think I was sitting next to my friend Abby and my cousin Tiffany. We were in the 4th grade. Mrs. Royce was my teacher. She's the one who gave me the roll of paper towels. She was wearing a pink sweater that she insisted on calling "raspberry".

I can see the flicker of the TV as the traction fixed itself and hear the muffled sounds of children making after school plans, or asking their neighbor to move over-they can't see. And all of this is conjured up simply by smelling popcorn, even on a hot, steamy summer day, 19 years later.

What smells transport you to a long ago place?


Hamel said...

Ferns bring me back to the brook behind the house I grew up in. We moved before I entered kindergarten, but that smell unique to a vast bed of ferns takes me back there.

And there's also a perfume that I don't know what it's called always reminds me of a girl I dated in college - for about a month. It was a bit to sharp and she wore far too much. But boy, can I picture her when a woman walks by and I get a whiff.

One who listens said...


MMmmmmMMmmmm.. Always reminds me of being on holiday.

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