2010-07-21

The Odor of the Aged

SK, an old person, smells old.

It’s not really a bad thing, it’s just a fact. Much as the sky is blue or paper makes a swishy sound if you move it across a table top. A smell is a smell.

Furthermore, that smell has always fascinated me. I remember the day I noticed my aunt’s apartment suddenly had that smell. It was as though after a certain amount of time, a person simply embraces the inevitability of it. Maybe what happens is that the olfactory senses diminish over time.

When musicians lose their hearing over the years, you will find that they gravitate toward progressively shriller tones. Guitarists, in particular, will keep increasing treble frequencies to compensate for the frequencies they are no longer physically capable of hearing.

Perhaps old people go through something similar. They can no longer smell a certain part of the olfactory spectrum, and so they start to overcompensate with things that have more of *that* smell. Eventually, as their senses degenerate, they are completely surrounded by it. It slowly encloses them in a cloud of wafty old-person-smell until finally the only other thing they care about is lawn.

I think I’m onto something.