It had just started raining. The floor, already damp and wet, reflected the nimbus clouds looming on the horizon as we sought protection from the rain under a bus stop shelter. Several people crowded the bus shelter, leaving inadequate room for any more. The clock had just struck twenty minutes past the hour of five, and by this time many workers were leaving their monotonous work places and heading for their home.
Rarely do the buses take this long to come, what has happened today? These damn buses! I was thinking to myself when a strong sensational scent, swimming with the wind currents, raided my nostrils. My mind, which was once indolent of its surroundings after a dreary day at work, was now immediately invigorated, awaken by the pleasant smell of the intruding forces; my muscles which were fatigued by the strenuous work, have now revived from spasm; my feet became more lively, my eyes more vigilant. A familiar current of electricity ran through my veins; there’s something about that scent that makes it seem a lot familiar. Where have I encountered it before? My mind started wandering as the familiar scent grew stronger and stronger, hysterically titillating the tips of my nostrils, passing the scent from one nostril and now to the other in a playful manner. My eyes frantically searched for the direction this piquant yet delightful aroma was coming from; searching to and fro, hither and thither, unconscious neither of the eccentric behaviour I am displaying inadvertently nor of the weird looks I’m receiving from the perplexed onlookers.
Why am I soaking wet? My subconscious mind subtly asks, as the conscious mind is reluctantly yet effectively overpowered by invincible and transparent invaders, not even aware that I am now standing in open air – dripping wet as the rain pours down on me. The conscious mind, drifted away by the registration of a sudden gush of cold into the system, was now once again repossessed as a gentle breeze wafted the familiar scent down the bridges and alleys then into the open air. My nostrils were now accosted by the familiar scent, excitedly caressing them. But this time coming from an Easterly direction, the scent was a lot concentrated and intense. Voluntarily, my nostrils followed the direction the scent seemed to permeate from, was it cologne? No – it was something a lot stronger; it was something unfathomable, something overpowering – it’s sweet smell, rarity and supreme qualities quite akin to the Frankincense I used gather back home. I walked over to the second shelter, still intrigued by the scent like a dog sniffing out a trail. Buses came and went, people boarded and dismounted, even the shelters which were once jam-packed are now vacant.
Minutes just rolled by, yet that scent seemed to hypnotize me, enthralling me in a way too wonderful for words, in a way no other scent has. I inhaled and exhaled, making sure my lungs are filled with the fragrant smell. Subconsciously I wondered what time it was and where I ought to be, but that feeling was trivialized when the conscious mind was subdued by the intruding scent and, out the corner of my eye, I spot a young woman walking down the road. Her manoeuvres were of regal grace; she ambled gracefully, carrying along with her the scent that seemed to send my mind packing. She didn’t seem to notice that it was even raining; in fact she wasn’t bothered by it for she didn’t have any jacket either! The closer she got, the more her scent dismantled my senses. She walked round oblivious of anyone or anything that moves and contentedly sat at the corner of the long red seat at the bus shelter; now she started fiddling about with her hair, removing the protruding strands of hair from her damp forehead. Was anyone else not aware of this? Am I the only one stirred by this angel? Have I lost my judgement? I was lost in contemplation, unaware of the old lady behind me repeating “Are you alright sir?” when she didn’t get response a couple of time she decided to talk louder “Sir, Are you alright there?” which immediately commanded my attention. I look around; a huge throng had gathered behind me as I stood there facing the shelter’s large plastic shield, standing on the large red seat. What was I actually doing and how did I end up here?
I spent nearly 15 minutes trying to gather my wits, trying to think why I have lost my judgement. What was it that commandeered my consciousness? Have I lost my sanity? No I haven’t – I was merely hallucinating. It was but a figment of my imagination – my mind’s eye having been enticed by a distinctive scent that knotted my consciousness in a complex network of fanciful images and the rather attractive young woman that smiled beguilingly at me. Finally with a shake of the head I laughed at myself, the onlookers started laughing too unable to believe the events that have were just unfolding right in front of their eyes. The rain had now stopped, and all thoughts seemed to have evaporated into thin air as I boarded the bus an hour and nine minutes after I initially came to the bus shelter – it was now twenty nine minutes past the hour of six. What a consuming element the scent is – you have to keep all your wits about you!