I like our new apartment. It has everything we need: 2 bds, no carpet, balcony, SPACE (literally not relationshiply) for W who rarely leaves a conversation without using SPACE 2-3 times.
These things are perfect but what is familiar are the smells: 2 wonderful, and 1 not so wonderful.
Cat pee smell on our balcony. Of course I am the only one who smells it and in my paranoia I have doused the whole balcony in that cat pee enzyme stuff and squirted citrus oil everywhere to keep the cats at bay. I love those fuckers but their pee is the worst thing EVER. Even though the smell is fading (the owners must have had a litter box outside), I plan to build a mini citrus orchard on the porch as further, permanent, defense. If you haven’t gathered or didn’t know–cats hate citrus.
My grandparents house was a place of wonders–some made large by childhood and some just because my grandfather loves ice cream and also my family has hording tendencies. Treasures were found in every nook and cranny.
Behind their house my grandfather built a tiny studio for my grandmother. Its a little house with large windows and it was a wonder. I thought it was a place that my siblings and I had discovered; that no one–not my grandparents, auntsuncles, or momdads, or endless amount of younger cousins (pooperscoopers)–knew about. It was our secret place full of discarded or broken pieces of art, long forgotten and dust covered. And the smell…
The smell was dry with clay and hints of old perfume. Sometimes I would hid back there, sitting on the floor and just smell the smell. Our stucco building full of other peoples’ grandparents heats up in the Los Angeles sunshine and smells like that studio. Not so pure–too many other smells mixing in–but its there.
The last smell, and the one I love the most is our back yard. Not really our backyard–but I consider the balcony overlooking The Hills our front yard and our walkway to the apartment our back yard. It has large trees and ivy and smells exactly like my Mom’s backyard during summer. Its a little musty–like drying leaves–but floral. Calm. The same calm as watching fish swim in the little pond in mid August in the little native forest behind the room where I grew up. There are few things more zen.
These smells, almost more than placing my objects in their proper places [nooks and crannies], make this place seem so welcoming; home.