Monday, September 29, 2008


Lucy wears a crisp clean perfume called M#2 Black March. Twigs and new leaves on a path through a birch forest, cold windy weather, the sound of someone friendly in a white clapboard house and dark trees rising beyond a deep green hillside. She gets these bottled aromatic dioramas from a little boutique off Whyte Ave, one of those shops with deep-set creamy doorways ribbed with crown moulding and dark glass and which sells thin purple leather belts and cardigans sewn with delicate epaulettes and white blowzy tops with crimpled tuxedo collars and also glass conch shells and pencil skirts and square-cut topaz rings, peridot, glamourine. Sometimes she wears a different scent called At The Beach 1966. The owner of the shop is a brisk business woman with honey-coloured hair falling smoothly over one eye and she imports these plain glass minikins from a perfumer out of Brooklyn or maybe he lives somewhere in Pennsylvania. His name, delightfully, is Christopher Brosius and he used to work for agencies and companies from Manhattan and London and Bangkok. The woman showed me a photograph of the perfumerie once, a small sweating brick front on a wide street in a deserted section of the city, a white sandwich board propped in front and stencilled with navy blue letters reading


You smell good, I said. I can smell you from here. I wish there was a more elegant way to say that. Smell. You smell good. Sounds so harsh, doesn’t it?

That’s the Old English for you, she smiled. I think those old one syllable words are perfect. They mean what they mean. Sincere words. Not like you. Lucy rolled over and spread her arms wide on the bed, the late afternoon sunlight through the white lace curtains pooling across her dark hair and the white pillows.

Sincerely, you smell good, I said.

She smiled. Sincerely?

You know you do.


Okay, sure, I said.

Sincerely, she said and laughed and flung her arms around me and pressed her face into the crook of my neck.

Sincerely, I said.

Photograph taken by ebergcanada