Portland’s Orange Lining Project is (one of many reasons) why I adore this city. Spent some time wandering along and then playing around with these words today.
fall in love // phantogram [until the ribbon breaks reimagination]
— Shoshanna, Girls. (via irandeckard)
Spirit animal me today in Scottsdale for work
— RIP, Gabriel Garcia Marquez. “I discovered to my joy that it is life, not death, that has no limits.”
— Sloane Crosley
When I let him into my apartment building for the first time, the stairwell smells distinctively sweet and strong, some combination of cream and honey, jasmine and orange blossoms. He exhales dramatically, “Woooof! The last person in here put on a little too much perfume.” But gardenia is a scent that lingers. It doesn’t necessarily mean that someone was wearing perfume, or even that they passed through here recently with a blossom. It could have been hours ago. The scent takes hold in my nostrils, sticking as we walk down the hallway and into my apartment. We leave the windows open, our skin hot and clammy, shoulders and noses a little pink from the first day of the year spent in the sun. He doesn’t leave until the morning. I smell gardenias in my dreams.
Gardenia was my mother’s favorite scent. She brought big, single blossoms home from flower shops and floated them in bowls or cups of water around the house, Georgia O’Keefe paintings curled inside chipped and lopsided coffee mugs shaped by my kindergarten-self’s clumsy hands. Gardenias are nocturnal flowers, blooming and sending out stronger odors overnight. In the morning, the heavy fragrance of the one she placed on the windowsill in the upstairs bathroom would cling to the steam from her shower and crawl under my bedroom door, a natural alarm clock. My brother and I carried it on our clothes into classrooms, like laundry detergent. It was the smell of late spring, and of home, and I used to hate it. Throughout college, I would pinch my nose when I encountered it, refusing to let it take me back to that place. But, having been gone 10 years this summer, I catch myself inhaling deeply in the stairwell, friend’s houses, and flower shops, wherever I can catch a whiff, like a dog traveling through decades of history in mere seconds on a street corner. I still refuse to buy them, but I revel in those moments when the smell finds me, marveling at all the ways in which we revolt from and then miss and then eventually, reluctantly, become our parents.
He doesn’t leave until the morning, when I ask him, please, to go.
And if I don’t meet this person, my backup plan is that I will become her. My backup plan is that I will spend my life with ME, and I will only let in a person who can compete with that scenario."