Thursday, June 06, 2013
Writing Assignment: A Smell I Remember
Chlorine. And cigarette smoke. Smoke on the water. It was the 70s and while Deep Purple was on the radio I was in the swimming pool. I was a Tulare Shark in maybe my first swim meet. Summer nights in the Central Valley of California. Parents filled the stands, bugs swarmed the outdoor floodlights, loudspeakers boomed the order of events. “Twenty-five yard freestyle.” Oh, and gun powder too. It mixed well with the aroma of lit Lucky Strikes coming through the chain link fence to settle over my lane, the lane I dove into at the shot of the starting pistol. I don’t remember if I won or lost, but the smell of a swimming pool, an outdoor smoke, and the burn of powder takes me back to that race in an instant.