30th May 2020
Can androids fall in love? I have stared at my phone long enough and deep enough for it to have some sort of feelings for me at this point right?
Not the point.
After the rains I always smelt rancid. More like a dampness spreading across a room full of books. It hasn’t rained today. The afternoon just passed by. And on weekend afternoons I smell of rotting vegetation. The early morning synthetic smell has long withered away. I have spent a bit too long staring outside the window and may have watered the plants sitting on the sill a bit too much. Excess. R smelt, not of the watered greens with the glistening leaves, but of the uncut tangle of weeds growing below and the few leaves turning yellow.
I know you are not too delicate for this, secretions are not secrets. R said sometimes he felt every other man smelt me just as vividly as he did. Chocolates. Not just the essence from a wrapper or sophisticated dark cocoa beans, but of an entire chocolate factory. Melted and then hardened into blocks. Some dripping down with the heat between my ﬁngers only to be licked clean from the palms.
I soaked some rice for dinner. Cut the potatoes in half. The starch edges the knife, still unwashed beside the sink. When I was anxiously waiting for the rice to boil, I chewed the pomegranate seeds to a pulp.
I let the rice overboil, and now it is slimy and sticky. When I am guilty, I automatically smell of disinfectant. The white ﬂuids meant to cleanse and purify would sting R’s nose and choke on his throat. The aroma would swirl through him, as if he were a toilet bowl.
The dirt and smears settled across my laptop screen and in-between the keys are a constant reminder of guilt. Layers and layers of ﬁlth. I haven’t cleaned my spectacles. Double the layer of ﬁlth and greasy ﬁngerprints.
I am guiltiest when it rains.
The room is still creamed up with the smell of burnt milk from last night. The milk was doused with cardamom and saffron. The pot is scarred. The smell so pungent. The steel scrub, tired of soaking all the burnt pain from the charred insides of the steel vessel, lies beside the starched knife. The kitchen sink is still clean.
I showered with R. He scrubbed the smell of an empty warehouse, garlic and onions frying in hot oil, exhaust and a ﬂooded underground station off me. The fear of losing each other loomed vicariously through the soapy water slipping away into the drain. The clump of hair stuck in it slowed the drainage. Feet soaked in grime and sweat and soap clung to each other for comfort underneath the shower.
The foam mattress was tearing away from the surface below. Snapped IKEA rods leaving scars had been removed. The mattress lies on the ﬂoor now. The bedside lamp is dimmed. R knows I don’t need a bed to be promiscuous. I smell of home.