I first caught her scent in the empty elevator. The tiny mechanical room was filled with her presence, wafting in the air as clear as if she were standing there’ right beside me. I breathed her in letting her smell wash over me. I imagined myself a blood hound, picking out shreds of evidence from her aroma. I imagined her: sassy and sophisticated, wearing boots, toting books, and GMO free groceries, into the tiny elevator just moments before me. Serendipity and happenstance had made us miss each other by minutes, and all I was left with were wisps’ and mystery.
Her essence was ethereal and light like lilacs and cotton candy. Not the heavy-handed perfume of a woman demanding to be smelled, like a trashy low-cut bodice with blossomed-bossoms exposed, expecting to beheld. No, this was a woman of class and substance, full of culture and fine art that it left an indelible mark upon the world around no matter where she traveled. Alas, I stood there in the tiny room with four walls, speeding upwards to my home –alone.
I scoured the elevator in the weeks to follow for any traces of her, finding only the smells of takeout dinners and groceries, the sweat of working men and other unpleasantries, but never her smell. Some days the elevator smelled of cleaning solution, bleach and simple green erasing any trace of her. Slowly, I began to give up and her sweet scent was almost erased from my memory.
One fateful day I was riding the elevator up to my apartment, playing absently with my cell phone. A figure entered the elevator, interrupting the solitary confines of my elevator ride. So preoccupied was I, with my device I didn’t even bother to look up. But suddenly the elevator was full of that wonderful familiar smell, the scent I had been searching for weeks before and had all but forgotten. At last I had found her, and at last I would be able to confess all the love in my heart. I glanced over:
“Sup” Said the burly bearded hipster next to me.
“Sup.” I replied.
….And that became the longest, most uncomfortable elevator ride of my life.