I don’t know why they say we have five senses.
Without smell, you can kiss taste goodbye because all the treble and medium are gone and you’re left with this weak bass, like the sound of a distant drum.
I used to think that losing one’s memory is the worst, now I’m not sure if there’s any difference when you can’t even smell the hair of your baby girl.
We were still travelling, babysitting, cooking, but I felt like a ghost, especially during meal time.
I was losing an essential pathway to my own physiological well being.
Taunted by the fear that it might be permanent.
And then it happened. Sixteen days later.
In the middle of a supermarket aisle, I caught a whiff of tempura grease.
I have no idea how the olfactory nerves connect from the tongue to the nose to the brain, but everything came back slowly – the smell of deodoriser in the air, the cypress timber, the leather in the car mixed with the air freshener, the mould between old magazine pages, fertilisers, incense, fuel, tobacco, coffee, tatami, green grass, autumn.
I could even smell my own nose.
I drove to a cafe, ordered a chicken sandwich and waited, cautiously took a bite as it arrived.
And from that moment, my trip went from black and white, to colour.