Friday, January 4, 2008

I'll be home soon, don't wash © by Adrian

I'm attending an online writers workshop with other oldsters, and one of the assignments given is to write about smells and odors. In deference to the age of the others in the group I try to sanitize what I write, so as not to offend them. I don't know why, but have you ever noticed how really square old people tend to be. You'd think with all the living they'd done they would be open and flexible, but sadly that's rarely the case.

Good grief though, smells? How can any self respecting libertine be expected to behave themselves with that as the topic? My repeated attempts to sanitize what I'm writing proves unsuccessful, so I present to you this meandering and previously unpublished manuscript.

I call out to lovely Linda, who is down the hall in her home office, "Oh Lord, this time they want me to write about smells. I smell a class expulsion in the air on this one."

I've tried a number of times to make a list of odors I like, but every time I sanitize the list, it mysteriously disappears. I don't seem able to do it successfully, so I will summarize how I feel about odor, discuss some smells that excite me, and then mention a few I don't much care for.

The Good:
I just threw together a mincemeat pie (hey, it's the season). When I started cooking it I was quickly reminded of the joyful smell of food simmering on the stove or baking in the oven. I would be hard pressed though, to find a difference between food and sex. For me, they are very interchangeable.

Somewhere along the line I discovered that my analytical, intellectual self was a hindrance to my life's enjoyment. With that discovery, I relinquished as much control of my senses as I could to my animal nature. Smell, not surprisingly, has ended up very high on my list of important senses.

The incredible smells that can emanate from a woman influence me far more than looks ever have. My visual disinterest stems from the fact that everybody always shows up for their photo sessions at their finest, so I have always tried not to let the way a person looks rule my sensations. Armpits, crotch, sweat, (we're talking fresh odor here, not old and stale). Odors from all of the places you think you can imagine someone full of lust would crave, but so much more. I love to inhale flesh. Odor has always been paramount to my sexual enjoyment, I am an animal.

I believe Napoleon definitely had it right when he wrote to his wife Josephine, "I'll be home soon, don't wash." I envy a dog's approach to meeting and getting to know each other; a nose up the butt seems to be so much more sensible than a sudden look in the eyes and a hesitant handshake. Anyway, think of all the dreadful germs you can get from a handshake. Disgusting! Definitely not for me, thanks just the same.

Some of my photographic assignments are extremely intimate affairs, which occasionally involve some form of sex between the subjects. After a session I am often reminded of actor Robert Duvall's memorable speech while standing on the beach in the movie Apocalypse Now. He begins with, "You smell that? Do you smell that? Napalm, son. Nothing else in the world smells like that. I love the smell of napalm in the morning." After a bit more, he finishes with "The smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole hill. Smelled like... victory." Well, to paraphrase, I love the smell of sex, nothing else in the world smells like that. I used to love relaxing on my own in the studio after a photo session and re-discovering the odor in the air of what had just transpired. Do you smell that? The studio. The whole studio, smelled like... intimacy.

The Bad:
Then, of course, there are the bad smells. I am horrified by the smell of perfumes, colognes, after shave, scented soaps and the like. Apart from the fact that many are just plain dreadful, I am offended that anyone would want to mask their naturalness. I feel robbed of the opportunity to take in and experience the smell of that person.

Flowers? You won't get any bouquets from me. Almost all flowers just plain reek as far as I'm concerned, and once picked, it's all downhill from there. People are forever shoving flowers in my face as they exclaim, "smell that, it's just so lovely!". Well, I don't agree.

The Ugly:
I am allergic to garlic, so naturally the smell of garlic distresses me greatly. It's beyond me how garlic ended up being attributed to the Italians. I am a lapsed Italian myself, and have spent my life explaining to people that there was never a hint of garlic at our house, or any of the Italian relatives we ever visited.

The list of things that most people never consider have garlic in them is endless, including almost every commercial condiment or sauce. There are some brands that don't use garlic, so I use them exclusively.

If I am out shopping, you will see me with my pocket magnifying glass carefully scrutinizing the small print list of ingredients on tins or packages of food. I assume that anybody who sees me these days thinks that funny looking old hippie is probably checking for healthy ingredients, but all I'm looking for is the dreaded word "garlic", I don't care a wit about what else is in the product. If you see me in a restaurant I can often be found hunched over a plate of food, very animal like, sniffing for traces of garlic to see if I should risk eating it. Asking in restaurants if there is garlic in food is rarely enlightening, although I have noticed lately they take the question much more seriously. I guess they are afraid of lawsuits these days.

I rely on my sense of smell to alert me to the possibility of potential pleasure nearby, and I count on it to let me know if I should or shouldn't eat what is being offered me. Whether I'm in the bedroom or a restaurant.