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I smell like a train wreck of time: childhood and adulthood in a messy tango. Sunscreen and coconut hair conditioner waft by and I’m back in a beach hotel in Mexico. Mazatlan, maybe.

My 30 year old recollection says it was dingy, tiled. My first experience with a wet bathroom. Sand throughout the grout, no matter how much we sprayed it down. Sunscreen smells like the beach to me, more than salty water or clumpy sand. It invokes those smells, and the scent of plastic inflatables, primary colors of beach toys, a bucket and small shovel built for five year old hands.

In my jacket is nestled the smell of smoke, from tobacco, fire and pot. And a faint whiff of dog, but that’s neither here nor there. It’s the smell of late nights with friends. Hanging out outdoors, well into the wee hours. Not as strong as it once was, without the fire pit at the HP Haus. But still. Dry air and smoke and quality company.

I have a scent, I’m told. I’m pretty sure it’s not a strong odor. But like anyone, my skin has its own um…fragrance. I don’t know if it brings these worlds, these times together. Beach motels and late night doobies. Fighting for my turn to wear the floaties and crying on a friend’s shoulder.

Not as nasty as adulthood gets, not as filthy as childhood. Blood? Blood is constant, universal. Can anyone smell it on anyone else’s skin anymore?

Can you sense Mexico on me from how I chew my nails? Can you read my heartbreaks from my deodorant? The couch I slept on, the coffee I chugged. I can tease out exhausted college mornings from my shadows and my dad working in his shop from the set we’re building. But where is the alcohol? Where are the books?

There’s a whiff of me. But just from one angle. One facet. Space and time defying, but incomplete.

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