I think I am going through some sort of midlife crisis. I am having the WEIRDEST jolts of memory - it's starting to freak me out a bit. Everything can't be deja vu, and yet....where are these memories coming from? It is the most bizarre experience, especially for someone who cannot remember things that happened 3 hours ago. But it hasn't stopped, these flashbacks and details. Just today I was in the grocery store, and I walked past a young man stocking eggs in the dairy case, who nearly brought me to my knees. I had to stop for a moment, shake the cobwebs, clear my head and get my bearings before heading to the produce department.
He was young I think, maybe in his late teens, rocking the baggy jeans and the hooded sweatshirt. I never really looked at him all that closely, because it didn't really matter what he looked like or sounded like. It was what he smelled like. All at once, I felt really old standing next to this kid....and at the same time I had this CRAZY deja vu triggered by smell and I could have been 16 again in that moment.
(and by the way, reading those two paragraphs makes me sound and feel about 80 years old. "young man" "I could have been 16 again." Yeesh.)
What I smelled, there in the narrow aisle of the neighborhood convenience store, wasn't body odor. Not directly, anyway. No, I was smelling this kid's laundry detergent, and his deodorant maybe. Something. And it just stopped me in my tracks. I had smelled that very smell - that combination of smells - before. A long time ago.
In all of the places I have been, I have never had this experience. It sounds so gross, that I smelled someone. And I swear, I wasn't all pressed up against him taking big whiffs. Although, that probably would have been OK by me. No, it was something that happened in a moment, as I was passing by. And I was totally thrown.
I wonder what is going on, that all of these long-buried memories are surfacing. I don't particularly welcome them, I have grown accustomed to carrying very few sensory memories with me. I can remember how to get to every address I have ever driven to......but everything else has been fuzzy. Names, dates, details are irrelevant, it's in the past, that's all I needed to know.
But now......well. I don't know what to DO with this. How to deal with memories that surface years after the fact. Memories that I was happy to have forgotten.
8 hours ago