Waking up at 9:30 a.m. on the most melancholy grey of May Mondays yet, I couldn't help feeling morose (l'alliteration pour l'alliteration). And knowing that I had to look for work didn't help things.
But finding some intriguing jobs for which I could apply made me feel a little better. And a prowl through the aisles of my favourite local bookstore wiped away any remaining tensions. I bought a couple presents and a copy of Angela Carter's Nights at the Circus for myself (I loved The Magic Toyshop when I read it a few years ago, so I simply couldn't resist.)
Walking home, I passed through my old neighbourhood. Walking through that neighbourhood made me positively euphoric.
Truth be told, the move (which took place when I was not yet seven years old) took us only a couple of blocks over from the old neighbourhood. But those blocks may as well be cities. It truly is another world. And that's not just the nostalgia speaking!
The houses are a little older and the highway somehow seems a little louder. The sidewalks and streets are a little more cracked, but they always seem a little fuller with families. The trees are different. What's more important, though, are the smells. The smells are different.
The old neighbourhood smells sweet, smells faintly of lilac blossoms and Snuggle Fabric Softener. The present neighbourhood has not a scent, but a sensation, for whatever is on the air never fails to tickle my nose.
Maybe that's psychosomatic. Your sense of smell is most connected to memory. Maybe the memories of that old neighbourhood are actually what I find comforting, not the neighbourhood in itself. Maybe my relative indifference to this boring new neighbourhood is what tickles my nose and the nostalgia of the old is what smells so sweet?
And maybe this all sounds stupid. Maybe it is indeed.
At any rate, though, my travels put me in a darn good mood. And maybe that's what matters.