Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Thrills - Deckchairs and Cigarettes

One of my favorite things, ever, is the brain's ability to link memories of certain people and places to olfactory senses. I was riding my bike behind Goering's yesterday and caught the whiff of something that smelled like hotdogs. Right then, I could remember being a little kid in a school cafeteria in Miami and looking for a place to sit. The memories aren't really of a specific event, but more like a reminder of how a particular time used to feel like. Unfortunately, as soon as the smell in question has dissipated, the vivid memories fade away as quickly as they came. It's as if the brain wires memory and smell together. Or maybe it does.

A couple weeks ago, again while riding bike around town, the combination of exhaust, humidity, and maybe something else, made me remember my uncle's car, and I felt like I was, for a tiny second, in Bogotá.

As much as I try to bring whatever memory back on my own, it doesn't come back as strongly. That is, until I smell certain foods, cigarettes, perfumes, roofing tar, etc that my brain has associated with first days of school, travels, initial dates, cities, christmases, ages, etc.


1 comment: