THINGS THAT I CAN'T TELL YOU HOW THEY SMELL BUT I KNOW EXACTLY HOW THEY SMELL

  1. The garage at my grandparents' house, which my grandfather sold in 2005, a few years after my grandmother died.
  2. Also, the basement there.
  3. My childhood friend Lauren's ratty little scrap of a blankie.
    That maybe had a name? I don't remember. She would rub it and sniff it during sleepovers, and I know I'm making this whole thing sound kinda gross, but actually it was lovely and sweet.
  4. Freezy Freakies mittens at recess.
    Probably a combination of snow and asphalt, little kid hand sweat, whatever the mittens were made of, and after-lunch breath.
  5. The attic of the farmhouse where I grew up in Ohio.
    The attic was also my bedroom.
  6. The skin of: my husband, mother, father, stepmother, sisters, brother, daughters, my grandfather (Pop), Aunt Eileen, Aunt Judi, Aunt Kendra, Aunt Amy (who shares a skin smell with her daughter AND her daughter's baby daughter, which I think is ✨), my first boyfriend, my friends Katrina, Vicki, Joel, Mary, other Mary.
  7. Also the skin of: the junior who "like liked" me when I was a freshman and instead of being into it, it totally freaked me out, elementary school buds Susie and Suzi, my preschool BF Emily (haven't seen her since I was 7), my favorite childhood babysitter Wendy, my childhood orthodontist, Dr. Fried.
  8. And the skin of the following deceased people: my Grandmother Marion, my Grandmother Louise, my Grandpa David, my friend Savine, my Great Aunt Frances, my great grandmothers Sarah and Edith, my great grandfather Saul.
  9. A street called Emek Refaim in Jerusalem.
  10. My father's first apartment when he moved out.
  11. My first apartment with my husband Eli.
  12. A certain denim coat with fleece lining
    that I got in the seventh grade. To me it is the scent of strep throat because that's what I came down with the night my mom bought it for me.
  13. An empty oven.
    Cold.