Describe a smell

It’s the ubiquitous smell of mold.  If other smells are a smooth flowing plasma, sometimes hot, sometimes cool, then mold, mildew, the m words of must are tiny pin pricks in your nose, as if you can feel the individual particles hit your sinuses like sand in the wind hits your face.  It’s an old towel in the locker room smell, a basement smell, it’s the smell of the crawl space under the house when it flooded, the smell of the stagnate water I bailed out when I was nine.  It’s the smell of wet rope tied tightly to a five gallon bucket tossed in and then hauled out over and over in the summer sun in some toxic mockery of a well.  It’s the smell of clothes piled knee deep in the laundry room my stepmother refused to wash.  Do it yourself, she said, wash your clothes for school tomorrow.

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