Smells stay with you the longest. They bookend your life: when you become old, smells that invaded you when you were very young, before speech, reappear. Every once in a while, a breeze from my memory wafts the smell of my mother’s beauty shop to me: the chemicals, sweet, steamy, warm that I smelled when my mother put me to nap in the back room. The musty smell of the crocheted afghan that I lay on survives, and the sweet smell of our dogs coming in wet. They are what remains of the first three years of my life.


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