Last Friday was the last day that my entire apartment smelt of Jasmine and I never knew this to appreciate that sweet fragrance for the last time. It was the most refreshing thing about Pesach this year that gone from my bathroom was the stale odour of falafel, thanks to the heaving falafel shop under our block. For almost two weeks Jasmine swirled around our apartment with such a force that even my sheets began to take on the smell. Driving to work was made more bearable with my windows down and the sweet perfume following me all the way to my office. The only other smell that bares such a hold on my mind, other than Gucci Envy for Men (possibly the sexiest smell in the world), is the memories I have of springtime Sundays. I would be sat in my room revising for one of my exams, while listening open windowed to my father mowing the law. As the spray of grass would fly from the blades the smell would loom upwards towards my windows and it was then that I knew that soon the exams would be over and Summer lay ahead of me just a hop skip and a jump over the babbling brook of books and papers and hours sitting in silence in the gym of our school.
I look back now on these mind joggers and smile, yet know that this romantic notion is purely my mind reminiscing over the past, the time that was, and yet conscious of the fact that at the time the smell of the grass was more of an irritant to my sinuses.
When a relationship ends we girls like to give it the appropriate length of time before we move on to the next time. Sometimes this is a little longer than appropriate, but unlike men we like to pause, reminisce and give it some kind of respect before going on to the next guy. For most of the guys I know and know of, this is cut to the length of a football match, not including stoppage time – Why do guys always claim football matches to be 90 minutes when it is always more like 96minutes? Not including half time! – I guess the rule with us girls is that we give the relationship the respectful amount of time that the relationship deserves. We wonder about things like the last kiss, the last intimate moment, the one we never thought would be the last that ultimately was. Had someone said, “this is the last time you will share this together” do you think it would have been different? Better? And then there is the idea of someone else replacing you… a thought we generally like to hurl ourselves over before our insides churn out. How is it that a smell from my childhood can bring back such happy memories, yet a moment when I was at my happiest make my stomach do a double flip and my face go to auto-frown?
It is easy to wallow in this feeling. To punish yourself for how you made it all go wrong, that the feelings were all in your head, that it was not real. But it was real. Real things remain, not just a smell or a lucid memory. So when it all ends and you are left with the empty stomach feeling that only loneliness creates, what do you do? You go out, you have a good time, you take advantage of the great people around you and avoid the ones who are lesser. You dance your ass off, and always always remember to wear sun-cream. A friend I have not seen in a long time just emailed me to say hey, I miss you… and so until the summer is over I’ll open all my windows and let in the Jasmine.