Smells like Keen Spirit

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Hey, I've gone through all 4 of my web-comic strips and added commentary. If you're one of those people who has yet to bask in the beauty of Pirates Doing Shakespeare, now's your chance. And if you are a fan, of course you want to go back and read all the inciteful commentary. Right?

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Smells like Keen Spirit


Aroma Therapy, Hyperion-style

Recently I wrote about Morning Wood. Next up, I wish to probe an even more delicate situation: bodily aromas. As I did the trash this morning I caught a whiff of more than a few tissues dried with my blood. (It’s been a hard week; let’s leave it at that.)

The smell—which took me a minute to decipher—was horrifying. Imagine blood mixed with sweat and maybe even other fluids, several days old, some still tacky. I know. Gerrrrosss. Yet, for all that, I found myself drawn to it, almost compelled to smell it. I was mildly disturbed until I realized it came from my own body.

This seemingly bizarre behavior was only the latest in a long line of episodes where I have found myself not only NOT disgusted by my own odors, but curiously intoxicated by them.

Look, like any large healthy eater who enjoys a wide spectrum of our finer foods, I am capable of producing all sorts of odors. Whether it’s from sweat, funk or a stirring aria from a Bean Symphony, I can play with the big boys when it comes to the noxious fumes.

But somehow I have never been over-powered or rendered incapacitated by one of my own smells. (I mention this particularly because I have managed to incapacitate others, so I know my odors are potentially powerful. VERY powerful.) Why should it be that other smells can disturb me to no end, yet my own I experience with a tolerance that might almost be called fondness?

Perhaps a better question, am I the only one? So far, it appears so. I have asked around on this, and have yet to find a single person who admitted to the same phenomenon. The men deny doing it, while the women simply deny ever producing any odor that isn’t essentially aerosol sunshine.

There can be only three reasons for this. Either people are liars (and I lean toward this, but then again, perhaps I do so in order to legitimize my own freakiness), or once again I’m all alone. I’m alone on much, so this wouldn’t be shocking, but something within me yearns to make connections with others like me.

The third reason might have merit as well. I have an extraordinary sense of smell. In fact, it is one of my more heightened (if fairly useless) super-powers. I can smell odors farther away and older than anyone I know. One time I visited my parents’ home, a house I had never been to. The basement smelled of sewage to me, a fact I pointed out quite vehemently. Achmed and Bear (also first time visitors to the house) smelled nothing, as did the rest of the family, so I was dismissed as crazy.

Yet the smell persisted, and I kept at them until finally it was revealed that months and months before a toilet had leaked quite badly. In fact, my parents had to replace the basement carpet because of the smell. What I was actually smelling were the spots were a small amount of liquid had seeped into the cement beneath the carpet.

So you see: I smell a lot of things. Perhaps I’m sensing my own pheromones in my odors and my brain instinctively draws me to it, if only as bio-feedback on my own body.

Or maybe I’m just a Freak.

What I do know is that there is something profound about being attracted—or at least not repulsed—by one’s own odors. Maybe it’s a skill humankind used to have but has since lost. For example, you know how you get colds, and a seemingly endless supply of snot can come out of your head, hour after hour, day after day, and you wonder where the hell it’s all coming from? That mucus is coming from your sinus cavity in your forehead.

But here’s the thing: there’s no real need for a sinus cavity. It’s leftover from an earlier model of human. (Think Windows 3.1 vs. the Windows 98 we have today.) Scientists theorize the sinus cavities were originally used as “echo chambers” to help hunters catch prey.

I was watching a nature show one time and the announcer said that a lioness will hide her cubs from the male lion of the pride, because if the male will kill any cubs that aren’t his. The obvious implication is that lions can instantly tell their progeny just like looking at them.

Quite obviously, this is not something humans can do. Fathers can rarely be “sure” as to their child’s authorship. (Although conversely, they sometimes can be sure they aren’t the dad, if a “Mandingo” situation develops.) It is shameful to me that we humans, we intellectual giants of earth, we titans of thought and creativity can’t tell if our wife banged our brother, but an animal that sleeps 22 hours a day can.

In that vein, maybe my heightened sense of smell is rather more profound, a throw-back to the old days when sensory skills were more developed. Maybe being drawn to my own scent means I have other latent talents, such as reading minds or walking through walls. Maybe I can fly!

Or maybe I’m just a Freak.

June 7, 2007

[If you enjoyed this post you can find others like it over on Hyperion-X]

1 comment:

tiff said...

Not so freaky.

I like the "maybe I can fly!" line ath the end - so hopeful!