"Fire is motion / Work is repetition / This is my document / We are all all we've done / We are all all we've done / We are all all we've done / We are all all defenses."

- Cap'N Jazz, "Oh Messy Life," Analphabetapolothology

Thursday, January 22, 2009

cherry blossom

i emerged from the shower this evening, and opened up a bottle of lotion: "cherry blossom."

the name is misleading, it causes me to think more of fruit than flowers, so the smell seems surprisingly, almost overwhelmingly florid, rosy, clean. it is feminine, a womanly fragrance.

the smell reminds me of my mother, and watching her get ready for dinner parties when i was a little girl, standing in the bathroom of my parents' bedroom in her bra, her hair recently blowdried and swept to the sides of her face and ears. she has not yet put on her glasses, and i can see her face clearly, she never applies makeup. i watch as she gently pats lotion on her face, her cheeks rosy and flushed from the steam of the shower. the only beauty modification my mother ever used was perfume: she would dab it gingerly on her wrists, her neck, the crook of her arm. the scent would waft from the bathroom to the bedroom, and follow her wherever she'd go. after my parents left the house, the smell of my mother would always remain in the air, a trail of fragrance up and down the stairs, hanging in the air by the kitchen, lingering by the door where she stepped into her shoes.

since i was a little girl, my mom would always offer her perfume to me to try, to smell, to dab on my hands. she loved to buy me little packs of perfume, or obtain miniature bottles from the department store as trinkets, as if for fun. i always refused them. it wasn't necessarily the smell itself i adored. it was that image of my mom, standing in the bathroom, clean and void of any pretense in her appearance, my first idea of female beauty, and what i thought beauty (and my mother) smelled like.

so tonight, as i was applying dollops of this cherry blossom lotion to my skin, i was reminded of all these things and had to put the lotion away in a drawer, because the smell was just too close to that distant smell i remember, that it made me too sad to use it, and reluctant to grow into womanhood myself.

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