Bloggaday 282 – Nostrilstruck: The Very Best of Smelly Metal
So I was given a warm-up assignment for my upper-division writing class to write about the smell of metal. After smelling many, many things with almost no smell, I finally tried my fence. She said she wanted something ridiculously over the top, so that’s what I wrote.
In my fiction writing, I tend to shy away from description because I’m not actually a good writer, and I’m afraid it will end up ridiculous and over the top like this is.
SSCI 306 10:40
November 10, 2010
Nostrilstruck: Smelly Metal at Its Very Best
After sniffing more metal things in an hour than I have ever done before in my life and nearly getting stuck in my dryer, I finally stumbled onto my fence. It’s a chain link fences that separates the backyard from the driveway and rarely sees any use.
On the first sniff, there is not much smell, but once you settle into the aura that engulfs the gate, the smell comes to you. The second breath hits you hard, almost making you want to recoil from the sudden change. It isn’t a horrible smell, but the odor is surprisingly strong.
The smell is heavily derivative from two major aromas: unuse and moisture. It’s hard to call the dominant smell from the two odors, but I believe the strongest smell might be the unuse. I must be sure that we our clear on the definition of “unuse.” It does not mean “new.” On the contrary, it smells so very old. It smells as if it only offers its scent after being provoked, the only way to penetrate the barrier age has cast on the fence being to disturb it with breath. With dust and age heavy among the aroma of the fence, the life and purpose of the gate is apparent after nothing more than smelling it. It has earned the smell of age and unuse through a stagnant existence amongst the side of the house.
On top of the unuse of the gate, the smell of moisture is heavy on the metal. The fence has sat through the weather swings that plague California and wears a badge of smells to prove it. The unusual thing is though, the fence’s smell doesn’t feel reliant on the weather. The damp aroma that seems to cling to the frame feels independent of the environment. The metal has soaked up enough of the rain’s essence that the fence will carry the smell to the scrap yard and beyond the recycling center. It feels destined to show up again and again in investigations like this if destiny so approves of this purpose, the fence never losing the smells it has now.
After searching and smelling dozens of metal objects, I finally found a fence with a smell so characteristic of its appearance and use that its place in a project like this seems preordained by the fates. The fence at my house carries the scent of unuse and dampness, so much so, that it seems impossible that it will ever smell like anything but these two things.
How I Met Your Mother
School paper!!!! Talking about the smell of a fence… Odd, I know, but that was the prompt, only on Bloggaday
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Close the screen, the awesome’s getting out
182 November 23