Remnants of strong autoimmune pains from last night haunted me
As I hurried to cover the lateness to work this morning.
Absent-minded and dragging my feet through the chaos,
I reached out to grab a bottle Of an old perfume
That sat on the dresser, unused and discolored for years.
I checked to see if it had wasted and, thought nothing more
As I sprayed a few bursts of it to envelop me.
Out of the blue, like a muscle reflex, the smell jerked
A memory nerve, transporting me back to that
Gorgeous summer afternoon, years ago in another land.
He had reached across the car to inhale and murmur, ‘Divine’.
I had laughed it off with the wind, sweeping my hair aside,
And went on with the day without paying further heed to it.
It had been a momentous day, when much that I valued was lost.
Why then, I wonder, was I reminded of that smell today?
If Memory were a person, I think it would be cold, strange and random.
It would use every situation to make itself smell better than it does.
Why does it remember certain things beyond their stipulated expiry date?
What is it that triggers it to forget other more valid details?
Cursorily I wonder if I still have some unfinished business with my past.
Is this the Universe’s way of gently reminding me to look back?
Or, is this just a reminder of lessons learnt, and not to be repeated?
I had forgotten that this perfume used to be my favorite savior for drab days.
Perhaps, I valued it more then because he had gifted it to me.
But with the change of season and the friendship falling out, we moved on.
On a whim and a rage, I had thrown out the bottle.
In my naivety I had thought that I would forget
The smell of the baby if I threw it out with the bath water.
Over time, the only thing I remembered of those years was this smell.
Much later, I went and gifted myself another bottle of the same,
Because the smell lingered creating an identity of its own.
It was strange, because I definitely did not want to go back in time.
And, much to my surprise, I did not even remember those years past a point.
I told myself, perhaps, I missed the place I had lived in,
Or, the people who had made me feel so young and alive.
I rationalized that this was perhaps how youth smelt like.
Over the years, other smells overwhelmed and overtook me.
They found favor with my sensory nerves, leaving behind this bottle
To stand on my dresser as a mute spectator of the progression of life.
This morning however, made me realize that the past is never really gone.
It gets buried in some deep recess of one’s soul, beating its own drum
Like a second heart that gets fished out at the slightest provocation.
Memories eliminate the bad, and, magnify the good because on some days
One needs to hear how those years that made you who you are, were safe and good
Even if they weren’t, and that sadly is the burden of the past.
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