Thursday, 7 April 2016

The scent of you

It's been a month and I haven't changed the sheets yet. If I shuffle over onto your side of the bed, lay my head where yours rested and pull the duvet tight around my mouth, there's a tiny patch where I can still smell you, where you had your armpit. It used to annoy me that you sweated so much, that I had to change the sheets more often, but now I bury my nose into that spot and inhale deeply, as though I can keep some part of you in my nostrils for all eternity.

I am still sleeping with your fleeces. The brown-checked one that you bought on Ebay recently, that neither of us really liked and the big, thick blue one. I saw you in it just recently. You were coming from a job to meet me in the park, running round the path to meet me. A giant bear of a man, running with his arms open wide, with no care for who was watching. We were so excited to see each other that walking wasn't fast enough. Turned out we should have run faster. You opened your arms and I galloped towards you and you held me tight.

Now I hold tight to your memory in those fleeces. I pull them towards me and curl around them like I used to curl around you and sob into the fabric where I used to sob into your chest. "I've got you," you used to say. Not anymore. The smell in your house after you died was too strong and I had to wash them, wash away the pungent scent of death which I will never forget. Beneath the smell of washing detergent I can still smell it slightly and still a slight smell of you. I wish I could bottle your scent and wear it like perfume. But it's just a memory now. One day I will have to wash the sheets. But not today. Not yet.