I've started walking around my neighborhood after sunset, smoking a cigarette. (I know, horrible. They are American Spirit ultra lights, but still). It's spring and the sidewalks are usually wet or there is a light shower and the perfume of blooms and fresh green is intoxicating. As I light, I can hear the crackle of the burning tobacco, the pull from within my lungs, the softness of my lips and I might even slightly close my eyes as I inhale. (Momentarily, I'm back in Paris running around with a cigarette, some sort of proof I belonged). It's poetic and cinematic and loaded with consequence and it makes me whir with life.
I'm in awe of how I could ever not notice how beautiful this all is. I'm connected, not only to the city that I spent half of my life craving, but to the people I share it with. I'm awake. I'm not sure if it's the buzz from tobacco or the act of doing something foreign that keeps me tapped into every second, every encounter, every smell. I look up as I exhale, watching the smoke plume melt into the sky and I am fascinated by the whoosh of air, where it's been, where it's going. It's just all so much, isn't it?
I crawl into bed and hold my hands up to my nose and a million memories wash through me. I remember the way my dads hands smelled and what they looked like and instantly he's back from the dead and I have a chance to experience him again. Memories I'd thought I'd lost, come flooding back. The few memories I have are stained with regret, anger and what was missing. I used to think I learned my aloofness from him, my fear of commitment, but really, I learned forgiveness. I learned to love people where they are, faults and all.
I lie there remembering all of my lovers and friends who've had that smell and all I feel is warmth and wonder, and so much love (and maybe a little dizziness too).