Monday, September 16, 2013

That Smell

Sitting down in class on Monday morning in the Siegfried Auditorium, I opened my laptop to start taking notes on the soon-to-begin lecture. Right before my professor began class, a friend of mine slipped into the chair next to me. He greeted me with foul mixture of cigarette smoke and sweatiness that moved into my nose and didn't move out for another forty-five minutes. We didn't talk, not about the most recent Breaking Bad and most certainty about the Browns pitiful passing attacking like we normally would. I spent the excruciatingly forty-five minutes doing my damnedest to lean a way as far as I could, pretending I was readjusting myself just to avoid interacting with the odor beside me.
When class was over,  and I was able to get away, a sense of relief came over me. Instead of the smoke and stink, I smelled clean air the remnants of the coffee in my cup, glad to just be away from that smell and to be enjoying something that other than that stench sitting next to me.


  1. There are always those people in class you pray keep walking and pass the empty seat next to you. This would be one of those people for me! I know exactly the smell, and it is so not a good one. I like how you end with your favorite smell, it adds light to the piece. Great work Chris!
    ps. The browns part could have been left out, I'm still recovering from the loss... :)

  2. I feel you here too - you capture that sense of not wanting to be rude and say anything, but desperately wishing to lose your sense of smell and avoid the noxiousness brewing next to you. If you had known that your friend was hungover or something, it might have been interesting to hear that story, but you seem to focus on just getting the hell away as soon as you could. I agree with Kristen, you smelling your coffee to clear away the stench makes me smile.

  3. I'm not sure if I'm into the smell of smoke "moving into (your) nose." That's just a personal preference, but I think there has to be a better way to phrase that, you know? On the other hand, I like your "interacting with the odor" line. That is great, in my opinion! I take it this is from Comm Law?

    1. Yessir. Same smell today during the exam. Woof.

  4. How can this turn bigger? It's funny, but can you play it this way:

    You turn to talk to him about Breaking Bad. Notice something smelly. You turn to try again, to talk about the Browns. Oh, the smell. Then you attempt it again.

    I think that would be more of a story. You'd be writing a moment instead of reflecting on something that's probably--in the long run--not worth reflecting on.

    See how a small change might make this about your mind and your perceptions and a specific moment in time?

    Good start.