Blood and pressed grass
By KODI CROW
Blood, pressed grass, sports tape, menthol, cold beer and warm skin creates an olfactory symphony that wraps me in my father’s tender arms. From between his invisible embrace, the foggy memories of brutal rugby followed by raucous laughter and grand celebration coalesce into two vivid feelings: love and safety.
In my youth it was plentiful, but as new smells begin to shape my father of present, and I grow distances apart, the smell has become precious and rare.
Now, my invincible father, who took no prisoners and asked questions later, is sick; vulnerable. Warm linens and a slew of astringent hospital disinfectants have suddenly become the transportation to the memory of my father.
The ride is no longer smooth; it’s a new route on an empty subway that propels me with nauseating force. Between the posts whizzing by, I see a father I hardly recognize. Flash imagery of a man whose unwavering confidence has eroded into uncertainty; and as he displays a smiling face, his solitude tugs down upon it.
While the train careens forward into a forest of complications and distressed voices, I am reminded of the physical distance between us, and my inability to restore the steadfast father of my past.
I close my eyes, and hold his old jersey close to my face, breathing in every drop of blood, pressed grass, sports tape, menthol, cold beer and warm skin the shabby shirt has left. Love and safety wash over me anew, and I’m left desperately hoping that somehow in that hospital bed, my dad gets a whiff of homemade biscuits, a salt water breeze coming off the waves or a grinning poodle with sand in his paws and thinks of me.
Not as his worrisome daughter, but as the carefree, hopelessly optimistic and bright-eyed fan who will always believe in him, fight with him, and love him till the train makes its final stop.
About the Author: Kodi Crow is a former designer, photographer, entrepreneur, student of the arts and sciences, but is currently and always a writer. Her nomadic life has led her to 20 different countries around the world and over 100 different cities, and in nomadic fashion only has her temporarily living in Orange County, California until her next move. She is writing her memoirs full-time, and is grateful for her family to be close by.