• Aperture: f/1.8
  • Focal Length: 50mm
  • ISO: 1250
  • Shutter: 1/50 sec
  • Camera: NIKON D80

Northport, Alabama

It is memory captured in this glass cylinder — the very essence of time itself.

Ninth grade, trying to cover up the evidence of first period gym before second period French. Tenth grade, chugging Coke while sitting on the table in Mr. Rockwell’s room, watching the guys play speed chess and its bastardized sibling, Siamese. Eleventh grade, peering in the bathroom mirror, Journey blaring from the boom box in the corner, my boyfriend — one year older and hotter than I could handle — waiting impatiently in the living room while I tried to make my hair lie flat. Summer of 1990, blue skies and sunny Saturdays lying on a blanket in the park, my boyfriend’s head in my lap, dreaming dreams. Senior year, boyfriend long gone, new boyfriend on his way with a movie and Domino’s pizza. Summer of 1991, the scent of my perfume mingling with the smell of burning leaves in the night air, my boyfriend and I staring into the fire the night before leaving for college — sad, happy, excited, scared — and my best friend, Robert, flying up in his Z-28 and hugging me, cuffing my hair, and then instigating a snarling fight that would take months to unravel.

A woman is known by her perfume. She can walk in any room and leave her trace for others to discover hours later. If she’s savvy, her perfume will match her personality, or the one she dares to emulate. Like Obsession. It’s strong, almost too strong. One spritz is not enough, two can be overpowering. But there are times when strength isn’t what’s needed, times when an iron will only serves to isolate. It’s pure sex. Musky Oriental undertones, hints of citrus and the deep woods, it’s the Arabian Nights and Lady Chatterley’s Lover all rolled into one.

It’s all this, old memories, new memories, future memories yet unmade. It’s my life in a bottle if you can decipher the undertones.

Music: Mad World by Gary Jules (lyrics)

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