Wednesday, January 23, 2008

My Nose Memories

When my dad brings the bags from above our huge four door closet I know that there will be some change in our clothes. I will be surprised to see the forgotten summer clothes if we were at the end of winter. But I like more to see the forgotten winter clothes at the end of summer cause with the opening of bags containing winter clothes I will smell a more intense camphor aroma that I like and see its magnifisant source, those tiny naphthalene white balls which I resumbled to snow balls, snow white, and a type of candy at the same time having an intense urge to take one by the tips of my thumb and index fingers and put it in my mouth.

While my hands start pointing to the balls my father says:
- Don't touch them. Don't. Let me finnish my work Sami. Go to play with.......
- With? ...with whom?
- Sami go play with....with....
- With with?
- Go my love...just go..
- Why dady. I want them. You give me a ball, I will go. Deal?...humm? ok?
- Sami go...
- Do you need these balls?
- ......
- Will you through them away?
- Yes.
- Where?
- ....
- In the trash bin.
- Yes.
- Which one?
- .....
- That big blue one?

My father stood up, called my mom, she took me to the kitchen.
During the following days I searched all the trash bins frequently during the days in vain. Till before few days when I was asleep in my bed in the hospital when I heard a sound of something rolling on the floor under my bed. I opened my eyes. I saw my room mate aggitated holding some white balls and rolling them to the corners of the room. I thought I was still dreaming those strange dreams I got when I eat a heavy meal. After a few seconds, the aroma surrounded me and opened the closed forgotten winows of my nose memory. I opened my eyes and sat down on my bed examining my room mate who said:
- Naphthaline.
- What?
- For the cockroaches.
- Are you dreaming?
- .........
- I I dreaming?
- That smell (I smiled).
- Yeah of camphor (he went to the W.C.)

I stood up. pulled my pajamas up well. Bent on the floor and looked under my bed. It was there. My room mate came out of W.C. I asked him with the most kindness I can, as if am a child again:
- please give me one.
He smiled. Opened his drawer. Took a small bag. Gave me one ball and looked smiling into my face. I took it as a treasure. Went to my bed. I sat. Said to myself: and finally my dream came true. But I did not put it in my mouth.

I told Mwnqithe about that. And that man proved himself again as my living encyclopedia. He started talking about naphthalene and its relation to benzene and how the aroma can cause some pleasant sensation and that some kids get addicted to smelling benzene then he talked about Michae Faraday and magnetism and his discovery for naphthalene and at last he start to talk about the use of naphthalene as moth repeler in some management of some skin diseases. While Mwnqithe kept lecturing we went into the elevator. There were other people there who kept silent while looking at Mwnqithe practicing his lust of using his mouth in lecturing while his gaze was fixed above, somewhere, while my eyes were widely opened looking stunned in his mouth which he likes every now and then to close it as a pause then reopen it making some sound with his lips and tongue, kind of preparation to eat dinner. Two young men smiled to each other suffering to resist laughing at Mwnqithe mouth and my widey opened eyes. When I noticed those two men I realized that me and Mwnqithe were really funny. I laughed while I was looking on them resisting their laughter. Mwnqithe stopped lectureing and the two young men were sure that we are mad.

At the dinner we sat next to six surgeons who were talking about some patients as cases. They kept speaking with a loud voice. I asked Mwnqithe suddenly:
- Tell me about cockroachs.
The speaking surgeon stopped talking and looked at me thinking there is something wrong while Mwnqithe felt happy to have the opportunity to lecture again saying:
- How I like cochroachs of the city of medecine here in Baghdad!!(the other three surgeons started to look on Mwnqithe)
- Are they special? ( I asked while resisting a laughter)
- Sure..they came from France as a well known Iraqi proffesor in insects said.(The other three surgeons joined the first three surgeons to listen to what Mwnqithe was saying)
- How? ( I asked)
- With wooden furniture from France. Did you notice that they are small an yellow and living in furniture, while Iraqi cockroachs are big, black and live in W.C.
- Yeah thats true. (I looked at Mwnqithe with eyes that said: I really amire you, while all six surgeons smiled. I asked) Are you sure of these information? Did that professor said that? Are they really from France?
- If you are not sure go this night, hold a female cockroach, ask her this way: vous etes francaise? and she will answer you Oui or Non.
The six surgeons and me all laughed. When I went back to room I smelled naphthalene. Looked on the wooden drawer saw a cockroach sleeping on her back. I thought she was dead. I hold a paper and tried to hold the cochroach with it. She moved her legs trying to go back on her belly and walk. She suceeded to be on her belly, she walked slowly. She was dizzy. I felt sad for her. I took all the naphthalene balls from below our beds and throught them away in trash bin.


dahmane said...

awww, another terrific story, Dr. Al Bedri...i loved the way your friend got the attention of all the surgeons with his coachroach story...hah. and i also loved how you fit the two stories together, the one from your childhood and this one, fron the present. you write beautifully.
love from your friend, tracy said...

I just love your writing. When are you going to write a novel or memoir?

3eeraqimedic said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Admirer said...

This blog is just fantastic. I stopped by some months ago but I did not have time to read, it's very intelligent and written by a man who is a shrewd observer, very refreshing in the realm of Iraqi blogs.

I have a question to ask you, since you're talking about addictive odors and weird stuff, here it goes: I used to spend some time with my friends in the hostel and during that time as you know for any college men at that time there were many things like fart jokes, I used to fart all the time and I didn't care for it but lately I have noticed that I sometimes anticipate my fart especially and I love smelling it, especially if it has a strong odor, don't get me wrong if anyone else farted nearby I would still feel disgusted but only my farts are awaited, is something wrong with me or does farts have some addictive smell in them|?! Please please tell me I'm worried and walla I'm not joking.

saminkie said...

Sorry for being late to respond to these nice comments which really made me happy. These days I may not be able to get an internet access easily. Thank you Tracy and sadalterego for your nice comments, and am really happy that you like it and proud that you ask me if am up to write a novel, cause I thought before that nobody will read my novel if I write it. You encourage me to write. Thank you.
Dear 3eeraqimedic, it was nice to hear about that insect repellant car, and your dream of chacing it. I remember my uncle told me about it, but I did not see it or maybe cannot remember. Thank you for your encouragement.

And dear admirer, am really happy about the nice words you said. And regarding the "bad" smells, it is very common that we love it especially when it is out from a person we like. But if you are interested to read about what the litterature said you can search for CARL ABRAHAM, and what he had said about "anal fixation". But before reding that bear in mind that this is not valid today. It is history that sometimes mentioned. Still not devaluated nor valuated cause it is difficult to put it in experiments.

Konfused Kid said...

hello saminkie, I have added your blog to the Iraqi Blog Count, sorry I didn't c it earlier. Thanks for this wonderful blog and keep on writing.

The address is:

Skylark said...

I also used to love the smell of camphor and mothballs when I was a kid. I still remember the smell of the drawers and the cupboards in our mountain house.

I am very happy that I stumbled across your new blog, after we first knew each other via blog nearly two years ago.

This blog is very interesting and full of great sensibility and warmth. I'm looking forward to visiting again and reading more posts like this. :-)

Treasure of Baghdad said...

Excellent. I so very much enjoyed this story. Of course, it reminded me of the smell of naftaleen, not only the ones we put among the clothes, but the ones we put among the carpets and rugs when removed them in the summer.


sami said...

dear konfused kid, skylark, and baghdad treature tank you all for your nice words which really made me happy. sorry to be late to answer your commnets cause these days i got no internet connection..

Ninnevah said...

that was a good read:)
i look forward to reading more posts from you.