We live in a world full to the brim with sensory input for us to devour. The deep blue landscape of skies dotted with fluffy white clouds, the tactile smoothness of a stone ground down by the elements, the screeching screams of a bustling city street at midday, and that distinctive citrusy taste of a perfect Florida orange cover four out of our five basic sensuous interactions with the world. And then there’s the olfactory. The sense of smell not only augments our taste buds, but also alerts us to very important aspects of the world which the other senses are denied access. Just think of how important a role smell played in hunting before the modern era (other mammals can currently attest to this) or how certain objects might smell offensive and detour us from harmful interactions (e.g. feces or burnt flesh). And then there are cigarettes which are a true trickery of human invention, for cigarettes have always smelled alluring to me and have seduced me into their cancerous waltz for twenty odd years now. Now I have almost broken those bonds completely (sans the occasional drunken binge), and in doing so have found some curious phenomena associated with smoking. Of course we all know about the cancer, lung disease, tooth decay, hair loss, COPD, and all other diseases which have been linked to smoking, but something nobody ever talks about (besides Bill Hicks and probably others) is the way cigarettes affect smell.
Perhaps how much smoking cigarettes affects your olfactory isn’t as significant as how much quitting does, and let me tell you it’s powerful. Imagine having shitty, blurry, basically blind eyesight which is completely correctable by putting on glasses and that’s the difference in forcefulness of scent between smoking and cessation. It’s intriguing how some aromas are greatly magnified while other times some things will smell (and taste in some cases as the two are interconnected) completely different. For example, dirt really fucking smells! And I’m not talking about that city dirt full of homeless piss and broken dreams, but that clean, fresh, untouched deep forest dirt you come across when hiking in some out of the way place. It has this crazy strong smell of roots and plants and animals that doesn’t exist when I smoke. Also cities can REALLY stink when I don’t smoke. Gross smells emanate from all those dull, plain crevices and back urban alleyways nobody pays notice to. It’s disgusting and is actually quite a good reason to smoke. However there are a bunch of different stuff including foods, clean air, and flowers that have a much stronger pleasant smell as well, so I guess as far as the olfactory sense is concerned, smoking is a double-edged sword.
Goro Fujita has some great work!
Much time has past since I have even felt the urge to write anything down in this little electronic scrapbook of mine…far too much time. Getting caught up in the everyday humdrum that is the “A shift” can not only be physically draining (depending on what lucky “career” one has settled for) but more importantly it is mentally and emotionally exhaustive. If there were ever a reason to wonder why we as a society love to get blasted drunk on our days off, all one need do is spend an ample amount of their daily existence settling on some menial way to pay their rent. Of course I do not speak for everyone here, some folks are quite content mowing lawns or working in a warehouse, I am just not one of them. I feel like I’m treading mediocre waters in which nothing has been ventured and nothing gained, and it’s feels like cold, stagnate death.
I know I am destined for something more rewarding than the monotonous life of punching a clock. I feel it, way deep down, a hunger long since unsatiated for something greater and grander in design. Not that I have any necessary designs on being some famous name strung up high in the marquee for all to gawk at, just simply something I can feel intellectually satisfied with. I’ve been unofficially out of university for close to three years now, and the best possible face I can put on my life since is that I’ve only been capable of procrastination. Now the writer, thinker, philosopher, and intellectual in me hungers for more and there can be no more pulling back on the reigns of progress. NO MORE PROCRASTINATING!
“If you’re not afraid of your goals, then they aren’t big enough.”
Lately I’ve become painfully aware of just how out of place I feel even in the most comfortable and worn in of dive bars and last night amongst an ex-girlfriend who staunchly wants to remain my best friend and a bar full of incarnations of the friends and bands of my yesteryear, all I could think over and over again was “what the fuck am I doing here?” At first I thought it was her getting on my nerves, after all we both do things that annoy each other. But she was being nothing but pleasant and sweet. Then I noticed some of the new young twenty-somethings she was talking to and I thought Eureka!
But what exactly was/is it about these kinda adults that bothers me so? I need to parse out the underlying thought behind the emotion on pain of coming off shallow and pretentious. Surely it’s not the fact that my ex has new friends, what’s that matter me? And it’s not these kids in and of themselves I dislike, on the contrary I find them pleasant enough (especially the one with the vampire makeup). The only complaint I could make with most of this younger generation I find myself surrounded with when is that they seem completely uninformed in a great many things, but is this really all their fault?
Well I’m sure if one wanted they could make some sort of argument about the state of the education system and kids lack of motivation, but for my purpose the answer is an emphatic No! It only seems right and natural that a gap in knowledge (and hence topics of conversation) should exist between myself and those a decade my junior. And eureka! I’ve placed my finger on the problem.
This is no mere gap for me but an ever expanding chasm. I strain my blurry eyesight to its very limits to see what lies on the other side, and alas I see a form. But as this form takes shape and comes to light l sense an odd familiarity as if it were an old friend or even someone closer. Then as everything finally comes into focus I realize it is me who I’m looking at, only not myself as I stand today, but myself ten years past.
My annoyance isn’t with anybody else, it’s with myself. I feel like that last guy to leave the long since over party. In fact a new, younger party has sprung up in the same spot and seeing the faces of old friends in these new ones leaves me cold. But worse than that I’ve lost track of both time and purpose. The passionate fires that burn deep within have been doused in a frothy suds filled mess for far too long. I must leave the party and get to work crafting my legacy. I may not be a kid anymore, but I’m far from old and there’s much to do before it is my turn to exit the world stage.