Wednesday, August 18, 2021


I’m in between two massages. What a bougie day I’m having. I booked my first massage session using ClassPass, which is where you can book fitness sessions and claim them through lululemon as an employee. However, you can also book beauty and wellness sessions and claim them, and lululemon will be none the wiser. Of course, that’s not what it’s meant for, but if you don’t tell, and I don’t tell, my employment ends in a couple of days and it will be the last thing I claim!!! Yesterday, my best friend from work, MJ, told me he’d booked foot massage sessions for both of us after our dinner later, and he said I couldn’t negotiate, and so that’s the story of how I have two massage sessions in a day. I know no one asked, but no one has ever asked me anything, yet y’all still end up here reading this shit that no one ever asks for?!?!?!

Anyhow. During my massage just now, I smelled something that brought me back to LA. It wasn’t the first time I’d smelled it in Singapore, nor was it the first time I was transported back to LA, but the spa was filled with many different aromas, and so I had to work my brain to pick out the one that was LA-related and identify what it was. For some reason, it permeated many of my memories of LA. I’d smelled it at the beach, I smelled it in the restaurants, I smelled it through cars and courthouses. While the very nice lady was massaging my shoulders, I thought “it smells like Joey” and then “no, this is not what Joey smells like” — then, “no, it smells like the mountain”, followed by “no, not the mountains” and then, because my brain neurons never let up, not even while I’m supposed to be falling asleep during a massage, I realised the scent. It was aloe vera, and the reason aloe vera persists in all my LA memories, is because my lips were very chapped during that hot summer, and I constantly used an aloe-flavored/scented tub of Vaseline lip balm. That’s why I thought it was Joey, because I would kiss him and he would probably smell like it. What a trip. Scents are wild.

I wish I had something like that to make me think of New York City, but I don’t. New York didn’t smell like anything particular to me, and nothing viscerally brings me back there. I remember it being cold and windy, and perhaps if I have bagel with lox, I get reminded of New York. I don’t have bagel with lox very often, and it’s not so much a visceral response as it is my brain making its own connection.

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