I opened a new pack of Clorox wipes to clean up the load of groceries I’d just brought in the house. Ah, life during corona virus.
After, the smell on my hands took me back years. Back to an elementary school where I used to teach. Back to a school where the janitor polished and waxed the floors so regularly they gleamed. The wax, or the cleaning fluid, that he put in the machine he pushed up and down the halls, smelled like my hands.
I was back in the hallways of that building, thinking about all the kids who passed through them – probably still will when this pandemic is over. Back in a part of my life that was as natural as breathing.
Now, each time I use those wipes, I’ll go far away. Funny how a smell can do that to you.
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It is late evening . Babblers are still arguing about the best perch in the tree . Some kid runs past , curving full tilt into his garden , hooting all the while . Mothers on phone are checking phones and absently pushing prams on their way home . An old man with his arthritic wife walk slowly ahead .
Somewhere , off the road , in some kitchen , potatoes are being fried , with garlic . To go with crispy paranthas . Both the smells waft out on the road . Seductively intertwined . Snaking into the still summer air , sitting there , heavy with promise . Hastening people’s footsteps . Dieters , who want to avoid the smell , foodies welcoming it . The aroma of nostalgia for some .