I smelled a familiar scent today, a scent that ushered me aboard a time machine and skidded to a stop in 1989.

The planes and cars have taken everyone back home. But I’m already at home, trying to make sense of having found Daddy dead on the bathroom floor.

I strain to reconstruct his voice, but I can’t hear it. I read a note but can’t remember the way he held the pen when he wrote it. Time has passed, but didn’t keep its promise to heal. It only diluted the memories, all but one.

I get a whiff of dusty mortar most likely coming from the work boots on the stoop leading to the garage – the same place he left them. This is the scent that has been with me since childhood. Yet the scene is unfamiliar.

I don’t see him sitting in his chair, legs crossed at the ankle and television remote in hand. I can’t call him from work for a soap opera update. I can only sniff and fill my lungs with the dust he left behind.

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