The Power of Smells

Yesterday, as I was walking from the trainstation to my house – a trip of about three minutes – I walked past a chinese restaurant opposite of the station. This restaurant has probably been the largest and most hallmark restaurant in the area I live in for the past thirty years or so. Until recently it was owned and exploited by the parents of a guy who used to be one of my closest friends.

And incidentally, it’s a restaurant that I, and many of my friends, have worked at from the time where we could pick up a towel or a broom.

As I walked past the restaurant, I caught a scent of charred meat, the meat that “Uncle” – a cook at the restaurant for the past 20 years or so – used to relinguish to us when, dressed as comboys and indians, we came to stick him up. I was nine or maybe ten years old at the time, and it was a time where everything was simple.

Things became very complicated in my life shortly after that, and though it stabalised at times, it really hasn’t become more pleasant. I feel like I’m in a state of limbo, where there are so many loose ends that need to be tied up. Loose ends that will take a lot of time to tie up. At the moment I see many of my friends making plans to move away, without showing too much concern about those they leave behind, and my instinctual reaction to that is to claim immediate, emotional bankruptcy and cut them out of my life; better to get the pain or rejection over with.

Yes, I know that’s not very healthy.

My car has been repaired, and as soon as I’ve paid them the ungodly amount of money – which will add to the already outstanding debt I’m paying off – I can pick it up. I suppose that’s good, though the financial consequences won’t be an easy burden to carry. I’ll manage, though.

My girlfriend lives half a world away, and that won’t change until she’s done with her education. 18 months of college to go, and perhaps a year or two of internships that, most likely, won’t be anywhere close to where I am. This wouldn’t be such a bad thing if I had some money to squander, to hop up and down to New York, you know? The thing is, she has – on various occassions – came to a point where she needed to see me, and where not seeing eachother would mean a bust relationship. I suppose I can’t blame her, but she knew what she was getting into when we decided to try this out. It’s proving to be harder on her than it is on me. Can she last for another two years? Should I stiffle my natural reaction to cut her from my life for lack of tenacity? No, of course not…but I can’t give her what she wants until I’ve paid off a large chunk of my debt, and I don’t want her to give up before I can give her what she wants.

Which of course raises another question; how big is my responsibility in all of this? Shouldn’t she bear some of the burden? Yes, I think she should, but it’s not realistic since she’s not allowed to work in the United States on her student visa, and the first money she can, and does make goes to lighten the burden on her parents, which I find completely commendable.

At least I have a job that I’m enjoying.

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