Sight is the most overrated of all the human senses
Sight is the most overrated of all the human senses; mankind as a whole puts too much stock in vision. Heedless of the warning Looks can be deceiving, those fools who trust their eyes say Seeing is believing. Oftentimes like a desert wanderer, parched and famished, running headlong and open-armed toward an incorporeal mirage, we project our own desires onto others, and seeing only what we wish to be true, wind up with a mouthful of sand instead of that sumptuous feast. Over again a million times a comely lass pulls the guilty knife out from between her lover’s shoulder blades with the batting of her Hollywood lashes and the pouting of her rosebud lips. So many times, live, wistful, beating hearts have been crushed under the boot heels of beautiful men for a coy smile and a wink. Mostly to our own detriment, our eyes feed images of beauty to our brains, and we fools in love believe we can trap it in a jar, holes poked in the lid, fireflies to brighten up our lonely hearts, flashbulb dancing. Smells, conversely, cannot lie. Odors are always true. Animals of all known species, spanning every known phylum, base their entire existence on fragrance. Olfactory system abuzz, they sniff out dominance and fear alike; every undulating scent rolling about their snouts inform them who is ready for mating or whom among the herd is sick. Behold, also, the flower, erotic petals sprawling, tossing her lusty aroma into the atmosphere, tantalizing bees into pollination.
Even in humans, though are noses are both underdeveloped and underestimated, smells are the most potent triggers for remembering and recognition. Under our nostrils, memory unfolds its secrets like a Chinese fortune teller, each perfumed flap of paper pulling us powerless into its folding embrace back to childhood outdoor play or a stabbing, sorrowful scene. And who doesn’t know the scent of his or her own lover under the velvet dome of night’s black licorice? Their fragrance conjures up carnal desires on a primal level in our brains. Through scent we regain our animal instinct long lost to us through the advance of technology. Scent is physical, tangible, real. No, sir, smells cannot lie. Yes, ma’am, odors are always true. Myrtle Belle sat on the edge of her bed and sniffed the air around her. At eighteen years old, she didn’t understand the science of smell; science of any sort was as foreign to her as Turkish coffee. She did, however, understand the poetry of fragrance. Sunday morning scents crept in through the crack under her door. Lazy bacon simmering slow and popping loud in the years-seasoned iron skillet. Buttery biscuits, soft as down on a cherub’s butt and swollen with air, baking warm and gold over embers colored orange as a jack-o-lantern’s snaggletooth grin. The scent of green grass and growing garden snuck in through the open window in lambskin moccasins to caress her nostrils. Her own skin smelled clean, like homemade soap and well-water; that’s what she noticed as she wiggled like electric spaghetti into her dress. The dress itself smelled like the wind that whipped long willow branches, that rustled through corn, that rushed through cotton; it was still stiff from hanging all day on the line. She felt as if she could sing, but knew she had to keep quiet. Instead she brushed her hair quickly and neatly. Boy! She was busting to tell Edgar! He would never have guessed what she was up to! Approached the sound of hoofs, carriage wheels kicking gravel. Her hammer-heart pounded the levy – she could hear her blood as if crashing through broken dam walls, churning frothy in her ears. Composing herself, she straightened her hemline, checked the mirror one last time, the hurried toward the door. “I’m ridin’ to church with Albert!” she hollered, and it wasn’t completely a lie, she reasoned. They were going to see a minister; prayers would be said. She grabbed a sweet smelling biscuit on her way out the door.
And there was her man, waiting outside. Albert, dark hair center-parted. Albert, ruddy-complected, moustache groomed. Albert, all in white, color of sun-bleached bone, color of the rising moon. Albert, dismounting to help Myrtle Belle into the carriage. Albert, kissing her sweet on the cheek. Reins in hand he smiled, and they were off, flying fast past cash crops and confounding them drivers of electric cars. All around the lovers in the hurriedly unfolding landscape was saturated passion. Springtime was undressing herself; her panties were wet with dewdrops and bee pollen. She shed her emerald satin lingerie, all kudzu and grass blades, exposing her tulip lips, pink petal nips, her shimmering hips dip and fuzzy bees buzzing get dizzy. Springtime danced the buttercup burlesque, nubile and nude, laughing all along like champagne bubbles popping. Springtime was impossible to ignore; she wore ladybug sequins and apple-blossom perfume. In the springtime there was no time for cold feet – wedding day jitters be damned! Albert and Myrtle Belle rode further and faster on that old familiar trail, speeding by that ivory canvas revival rent, just as the last of the devoted were filing in, clapping hands and jangling tambourines. As they rode alongside the railroad tracks, a locomotive roared past, banging and clanging, spouting steam and smoke that trailed behind the engine colored gunmetal grey, snaking down, winding round, at least a thousand cars long, whistle whining and a little red caboose pinned on the tail. The two youths clad in white, color of spilt milk and dandelion fuzz, neared town. There were less farms as they drew closer, and under the wide, blue sky, homes and businesses crouched tightly together. Riding by, Myrtle Belle marvelled at them loud, goose-honking electric cars with their grumble-sputter engines dominating the streets; in the city they had most completely replaced the horse and cart. There was a small church in town just wrapping up service. They met the minister there, and after a simple prayer and brief ceremony, they were married. Just like that. Faster’n all get out. The ride home seemed unreal, the dark horse panting in the midday sun, pulling the wagon at a trot down the road, which the further out they got, became more of a path. Two long, deep ruts sliced into the ground, two bullet streaks of red clay and brown earth, with illuminated green grass sprouting all alongside and right up the center hump. The farms on either side of the road had fresh shoots, too, sprouting forth from their perfect furrows like Athena springing from the skull of Zeus. The breeze blowing through her hair felt cool and refreshing, and every cell in her body tingled alive with excitement, bursting at the seams!