Scent of Woman(‘s Experience Living On The 5th Floor)

I am just going to paint a quick picture for you all before I sign off for the night. And if you know me and how much I love to let words pour from my fingertips, than you know this is no quickie… I just so want to share the sensual experience that I now dwell in!

Imagine a cloud. An invisible cloud that envelopes your senses and leaves you reeling, sometimes with eye watering intensity, sometimes with something that translates into hunger. Sometimes something Else. This overpowering experience is The Aroma of the 5th Floor

Picture this … I now live in an apartment building, and so I take an elevator home. Or I dash up 5 flights of stairs if I am feeling really amped. Usually that doesn’t happen on the way home, although sometimes I will take the stairs Down, and pretend that works for cardio. I think in the 4 months we have lived in this building, that I have taken the stairs up about 5 times. Once when I got home and one elevator was on Service and someone was using the other one to move in, or out, I really couldn’t tell, and I just didn’t want to ride up with 2 dressers and a stack of shoe shelves. I know a couple of times I came in the back door and took the stairs by some misguided instinct and contemplated catching the lift on another floor. But that would just be silly!

Anywhoo I usually take the elevator. It is kind of fun. Has a fancy mirror, railing and Call for Help buttons that ElfBoy has ”accidentally” pushed 3 times when determined to not take off his mittens. Alarmingly, I have only witnessed someone answering the CallforHelp button once, and that was when I pushed it On Purpose! That was a fun experience, but let me tell you about that another time though, ok? Don’t worry, I’m fine! I’m here, aren’t I?!

Here I might be, but where was I?

The Elevator Experience… and the scents that await the senses…  One fun part about now living above ground, is that usually I get to ride the elevator with at least a couple of the 200 people who I now share a building with. Normally no more than 2 other adults and a handful of children. Often a dog or two, and sometimes someone in a motorized scooter chair, usually them with a dog as well. All good. Actually, the elevator itself doesn’t usually smell too bad. Often it smells like cleaning product. Which is a good thing, considering how often the dogs can’t wait to get outside. Too bad their owners are not as caring about cleaning up after them as the poor superintendents have to be! Spring in this area is just plain gross! But Wait! Stay with me! I was getting to it, I promise!

The thing about being apparently Amazonian at 5 foot 10, is that the majority of my neighbours are at least a foot shorter than me. I am not exaggerating. My son, at 4 foot 2 is as tall as some of the parents in the school yard. What I can’t decide is if it is awkward standing in an elevator with people who you tower over, or not. I usually just make eye contact with the children. I enjoy making them giggle. Giggling is the universal language, when I would say 85% of the people in your neighbourhood don’t speak the same language as you do. This morning I pretended to do knee bends, mostly because at first I was feeling self conscious about being the last person on the elevator and having to stand in front of everyone, knowing I was towering over them… and then just to be ironic, and I had at least one little girl in fits 🙂 My son was standing with his back to me with his forehead against the mirror. This is either to avoid the total mortification of having a weirdo for a mother, or his way of surviving a full elevator.

But Wait! I haven’t gotten to the wafting aromas yet, have I?!

I think that the main reason it smells so interesting on my floor, is because the majority of my neighbours come from places with more interesting food cultures than where we lived before. And here it is folks, what you have clearly been waiting for! You are still here, aren’t you?! My favourite part about this new experience is that when I get off the elevator I am instantly greeted by the scents wafting from my new neighbours doorways. Most afternoons I walk through a mingled aroma of fried onions and peas, and nag champa incense. Actually most mornings too. I am pretty sure that the lady across the hall eats mainly fried rice for breakfast. And it is truly mouth watering. I wonder what the Dreamy Postman thinks when he comes up to our floor?! Does it make him feel somewhat overwhelmed but also hungry? I wonder what he thinks of my contributions to the Aroma of Floor 5, with my many teas and baking as well as the fine layer of perfume I enjoy spritzing on my carpet to mask some of it all? This week I am featuring things of peanut butter, Darjeeling and musky man scents from a sampler bottle.

Because this is the thing… The trouble is that these wonderful experiences don’t stop in the hallway. As I sit here right now, there is a maddening combination of burnt beans and lemon grass enclosing me and strangely, I am desperate for 2nd dinner!! I will be dreaming of thick spicy foods and tea leaf seaweed tonight! I hope you will too, because I think this will be sweeter as a shared experience. That is if you have made it to this sentence and if I have managed to portray the rather eye watering, mouth burning experience that is to be had just by stepping off the elevator on the 5th floor!