I posted yesterday about a writing exercise that I was doing for class–one involving all senses but sight–you can see the details and my first five passages here. Below, I have included the second half of my completed exercises. These were challenging and fun to do, and I’m super psyched to be writing like this again!
6. Kitchen: The kitchen smells of rosemary and mint leaves, both picked fresh this morning. I can hear mother work them into a paste, the crunching squish of the mortar and pestle saturating the mostly empty room. Roxy, our border collie, shifts positions, growling in hesitant fascination at the work taking place above. Her tail slides back and forth across the hard wood floor, stirring up a breeze that brushes against my leg. It’s coupled with her soft panting breaths that smell like All-American Dog Kibble and the beets my mother tosses down every five minutes from the counter.
7. An evening at home: I tell the time of day by the decibel level in the house. The crashing of dry wall on the Home and Garden channel always gets louder before my mother begins to make dinner. Doors slam shut with a hollow thunk as my father encloses himself in his office, looping a Bluetooth headset over the shell of one ear: “Hello, this is Keven.” The dogs squeal at passers-by, human and otherwise. It’s the children they especially hate, and the sound of high-pitched howls reaches all the way up to my bedroom.
8. Allergic reaction: My skin burns, the raised red welts dominating most of the surface area, melding together into a singular itch that cannot be relieved. It is all-consuming. I can feel them on my eyelids, pressing against my tear ducts, the stickiness of make-up fused saltwater. My heartbeat is in my ears and they spike in temperature, fear gutting the pit of my stomach. I flinch with every movement as the burning increases. How much longer, I think, before my eyes swell shut completely? The Benadryl tastes like candy on my tongue—bitter with pity, sweet with relief.
9. Student orientation: It sounds like hell, the screams of the senseless and the unprepared piercing through my sense of peace. The words I write are the shrill voices of bored high school students: “When do we eat? Where are we going? Do you have the answer to number three?” I can smell the desperation, the sour tang of trying to fit in, the bitterness of making it only halfway. Their perfume smells pink, too sweet, and I consider telling them that it gets better, but I keep writing instead.
10. Parking lot: There is enough metal here that I can taste it—heated tang warmed from the sun. The flavor of blood and car exhaust. It tastes like global warming. I rap my knuckle against the maroon hood of a Jeep Cherokee. The surface burns the back of my hand but I don’t pull away. It’s a familiar kind of heat: over-worked engine and hot summer sun. I wish again for a million dollars, splay my hand across the too-hot surface of the car, and scent—for the briefest of moments—the air of a new car owner.
So, yeah, that completes the exercise “Senses Other Than Sight.” I have to include ten more for my second portfolio due at the end of the semester, so maybe more will show up here, who knows? Have fun writing!