…if you are with me and I experience, eat or smell any of the things below, this is what always goes through my mind.

 

Pencil shavings. For some reason in first grade it was a big deal to empty the pencil sharpener. The old school metal one that was bolted on the edge of a long table or maybe the teacher’s desk. I associate the smell of pencil shavings with a kid in my first grade class named Freddy S. I think it’s because he and I fought over who would get to empty it more. Here’s a little, quick story about Freddy S:

Freddy had this trick where he could fold his ears inside themselves. And then they would stay neatly tucked in until he held his breath and turned bright red. Then, just before he was about to pass out…POP!!!  Both his ears would bust out at the same time. It was the coolest trick. Later, we would find out that Freddy peed his pants about 80% of the time he performed this trick. But still, overall, a solid stunt.

 

Baseball glove. Whenever I smell a baseball glove I am always reminded of playing little league for St. Ferdinand. The smell of a baseball mitt is burned deep in the olfactory tract of my brain, because when I was stuck out in left field and bored out of my skull (you know NONE of the kids ever hit it that far), I would stick the baseball mitt over my face. This would cause Coach LaMartina to yell at me, “DAVID GET THE GLOVE OFF OF YOUR FACE! JESUS!” I liked the old, leathery way it smelled and that I could peer through the webbing at the other kids. This would have been about in the 3rd grade. It’s a shame I peaked at baseball so early. (Second grade!) I was probably better than Tommy Herr in 1st and 2nd grade, but once 3rd grade came along…I really don’t know what happened. I sucked I guess. Thus, I was moved out to left field and developed my wearing-my- mitt on-my-face-addiction. God, I really miss hitting home runs. And I’ve never hit a grand slam either, but I sure have eaten them.

 

Walking into a K-Mart, Target or the now extinct Venture stores.   I immediately associate the smell of these stores (Especially K-mart) with my mother because I always accompanied her to go shopping. I would try to be on my best behavior and ask politely for a toy (of the Transformers, Star Wars or GI Joe variety typically) at the end of her errand run. It’s weird. Every time I walk through those doors, for about 5 seconds, I feel like I’m 8 years old again and my mom is right next to me.

 

Marijuana.  OK, so one of the first times I smoked pot was in the basement of Pat B.’s house with a few friends. But we didn’t just pass a joint around. We did bong hits off of a huge 4 foot bong!  Apparently we had some very powerful weed that night and this fact may or may not have been mentioned to me. I certainly did not know what I was doing, but when I did my first hit I did OK inhaling-wise. I hadn’t felt anything really after the first hit so I asked to do another one. That was followed by about four more. My friends did try to warn me that it was creeper weed and to “slow it down , man”.

This fell flatly on my deaf, stoned ears.

On my fifth hit in about 10 minutes, I dramatically collapsed on the floor and can recall looking up and seeing them start to sing, “NAH NAH NAH HEY HEY HEY… GOODBYE”. I knew I was in real trouble because I couldn’t walk and crawled myself into a recliner. I proceeded to watch on Pat’s television, a T.V. show where my brother had to pick a woman to marry. There were three different women and they were in individual bathroom stalls, wearing big brides dresses. He had to pick the best one based on how he liked the way they flushed the toilet. Later, they told me that the TV was never actually on. I hallucinated everything.

That night I tried to write a letter about how I am sorry that I was the first person to ever overdose on marijuana and the permanent brain damage I have done to myself. They took me to White Castle many hours later and I still couldn’t order. I made up food that wasn’t on the menu or even existed in the fast food industry. French fries came out of my mouth as “French french french.” That’s all I could get out. Pat claimed I tried to order something that went, “Cat or cat. Got any cat?” I think I was probably trying to ask for ketchup.

So that’s what I think about every time I smell weed.

 

Drinking Sprite. I only drank Sprite when I was sick. Apparently, it has magic medicinal properties, or so my mother would allow me to believe. So, when I drink it now (VERY rarely) the first thing I do is feel my forehead to see if I have a fever. Weird.

 

Sugar Wafer cookies. My mom’s friend watched me one time when I was about five years old. But she didn’t watch me too well because I ate an entire package of Sugar wafer cookies! I still remember how I ate my way each third of the cookie tray. The first third was the pink, the second was cream or vanilla and the final third was chocolate.  I also consumed a massive amount of her famous sweet tea that day as well.  I can only imagine what my insulin levels were. When my mom picked me up it is said that I announced to her, ” Mommy, I ate 24 cookies and I don’t even have diarrhea!”

 

The song ‘Kate’ by Ben Fold Five.  The chorus of the song goes, ” I wanna be… Kate!…Kate!…Kate!….Kate!” The first time I heard this song I had Amanda sitting to my right and Jamie Johnson to my left. (We may have been a little tipsy.) The chorus comes up and the both of them start singing along loudly with the song, “KATE! KATE! KATE”..etc.. in my ears. I could not tell what the hell they were saying. It was like I was 80 years old. Conversation went something like this:

Amanda and Jamie singing the chorus: I wanna be…(unintelligible in my ears.)

Me: What?! What are the words?

[A&J repeat unintelligible words.]

Me: No seriously, are they saying Dave?  I wanna be… Dave!?  How have I never heard this song?!

[A&J laughter]

Me: C’mon tell me, please.What are they saying? Is it Kate? It kind of sounds like Kate too…

The chorus comes up again and the girls switch the lyrics to say Dave instead of Kate. They sing very loudly too so I have no idea what Mr. Ben Folds is saying…Now I am very confused.

Me: O.K. That time you were definitely saying Dave. So it really is Dave?!

A&J continue to laugh and to switch the lyrics back and forth from Dave to Kate and back again, creating an enraged and confused real Dave and I head off the couch to find the CD cover.

So that’s what I always think about when I hear that damn song.

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