He wears Black Orchid. It smells lovely on him. When he tells me this, I am not surprised. He always wanted a cologne by Tom Ford, and used to mention it on occasion whenever we talked. How funny it is the things remember about our friends. This is one such thing. This and that he comes from one of those leafy suburbs that are composed of monstrosities in the middle of a forest. His parents’ house is in a gated community comprising such megaliths. Whenever we would ask him to join us on a night out on the town, he mostly said no. There were almost no cars on the road (and no matatus or anything that resembled public transport) when we dropped him off, and it was not even ten o’clock. A lot of things now make sense. The logistics are cumbersome.

We had not met in almost two years and it is the same scent he wore the last time we bumped into each other, at a church no less. I thought to ask him about it then and I did not. Recently, when I recognized it as the same smell, I did. I have a love-hate relationship with fragrances. I enjoy smelling of something other than longing and sweat. They, however, usually try to kill me by making allergies flare up and suffocating me in sniffles. Once not too long ago I tried using a deodorant stick. My thinking was it was probably the canned gases that were causing me trouble. I ended up getting contact dermatitis, a situation a friend of mine lovingly referred to as armpit gonorrhoea. Fun times.



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