Thursday, March 23, 2006


If I am going to turn this damn thing on tonight, I should be doing bike stuff. Taking care of some of the boring but necessary computer drudgery that will make my business run marginally smoother. Credit app to fill out. Search Quality's website for some bike parts and doo dads to order for my customers. E-mails are waiting patiently to be dealt with, replied to , and hopefully deleted. Plenty of work, I just do not want to do it. I'm beat. I'm tired man. Been at it since 8 this morning. Time f**king out!

Before my eyes cross and I black out from fatigue, I figured I'd stop in and share for awhile.

A friend of mine stopped by the bike shop tonight. I was working late and having a good repair day. The unforseen detours that haunt the world of bike repair were MIA. Every bike behaved, following the estimates like I knew what I was doing when I wrote them up. Brian showed up just about the time my feet and legs were telling me to call it a day. So we sat down, poured the last of the coffee and had a conversation. Nothing special. A little politics, some local gossip. The typical inane and meaningless talk between friends. Somewhere between a mutual rant dissing the Colbert Report and a mutual rave for South Park, out of left field, the subject of smells dropped into the spotlight. Totally random.

To be precise, we focused on smells that evoke pleasure and a sense of well being. Coffee brewing. A bakery a couple of hours into the daily bake. Wild mint after I hack it down with the mower or the scythe. Bananas in bunches waiting in a mound at the grocery store. An orange held close to my nose and I breath in hard. A barbeque fired up and reeking as I pass by on my bike. Woodfires on a crisp Fall evening. Thanksgiving dinner an hour before it's time to chow down. A fresh cut Christmas tree. My daughter's blanket when she was a little tacker. Catching the whiff of a freshly struck wooden match. We agreed the list of universally accepted odors is most likely endless.

Once we had tapped our ready reserves of the everybody loves em smells, Brian got off on smells that appeal to the select few. Those odors that appeal to us individually but not someone else. He came up with the smell of an open bottle of Tri-Flow. I had to agree it was an agreeable and pleasant smell. But I also pointed out that huffin petroleum products laced with Teflon cannot be good for the ole brain cells. My suggested toxic pleasure was no better. I said I liked the smell of gasoline and diesel fuel. All those years of trucking come back in a nauseous wave everytime I fuel the Chevy Silverado. And for a second I miss that brutal existence. But only for a second.

It's odd the small things that bring us comfort and help make us feel safe and welcome. Yet, some sensory flashbacks can bring on fleeting moments of sadness and pain. Catch the whiff of pies being baked and I go back to my Aunt Helen's kitchen at Half Way Up Farm on summer visits. And I miss her and Uncle Herb. The connection of our senses to our memories is an awesome and mysterious mainstay of what ties us to our past. Whether they be good or bad, our senses will remind us of times in our lives when we were happy, sad and mad. Proving that memory is not just a simple recollection, but is often a mixture of touchs, sights, sounds, tastes, and smells.