Our kitchen smells moist, sour, green. I noticed the smell yesterday morning and wondered if something was going sweetly, pungently bad, perhaps in the fruit basket or the trashcan or stowed on a shelf. But I couldn’t find any rotting fruit and the smell, itself, telegraphed ripeness, not rot.

In the evening the smell was there again, in tendrils as I walked down the hall and then the full body of it. Again, I looked around, more certain this time that I wasn’t just stumbling around in the memory of a dream. Over time, as I cooked dinner, the smell faded, masked by the onions and peppers I was chopping, by the smell of oil on the griddle, and by the body’s ability to adapt to and filter a stimulus.

Later, talking to my roommates, I suddenly looked more closely at the little green apples in the fruit basket. I picked one up; it was not an apple. I held it up to my face and inhaled. The sharp sour scent hit my senses first, then a flood of sweeter scents. Guavas.


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