I was in my teens—so many things I didn’t understand. So many aspects of life that I did because I thought I should or I did because I was compelled. And I was too close to myself for perspective, so all I could do was respond to stimuli.
I didn’t know why I was so drawn to the scent, so repelled, yet attracted. The middle finger of my right hand wafted aromatic magic. I didn’t wash it for days, kept it under my nose. My first drug. I’d sniff, pull back and try to place what it was that seemed so familiar. I couldn’t identify it, so I’d sniff again. What kept me on the repetitive loop?
One small cluster of neurons knew; that place where my spine grows from my brain like a root. There, in my primitive brain; that part of me knew. She smelled like leaf mold in the Miocene.