After I pour my first hot cup of Cafe Bustello in the morning, I hold the mug with both hands, close my eyes, and inhale the bold bitter scent. I tried that this morning and felt the warm steam hit my face, but no smell of coffee. I tried again. Nothing.
I opened the front windows and drank my hot cup of nothing in the living room. The day is a sunny and breezy seventy degrees, and I’m sure the air’s freshness is dancing around the house, taking away the stuffy summer dank, but I can’t tell for myself.
Losing my sense of smell is the oddest side-effect of COVID, especially since it is not complemented by a stuffy nose. The rest of my symptoms were short-lived and are almost gone, but I still can’t smell or taste. I’m aware of the eccentric symptom of losing taste. Tyler suffered that in the beginning of the pandemic, but I’m surprised at how little people speak of issues with the snoot.
One appreciates and notices the texture of food more when you can’t taste it. I made cheddar cheese potatoes yesterday and when I take a bite and chew, there is absolutely no taste, and butter on the cast iron cornbread I made to accompany it is unnecessary. (What a sad time we live in.)
Another weird factor in this stinky phenomenon is that my nose is clear as a bell, so it’s not a matter of obstruction, but of my strongest sense being compromised. I’m like a hound dog when it comes to my sniffer. Ask the boys.
“Is something on fire?”
“Is your shirt clean?”
“The house smells bad,” I say every day. (So possibly I should celebrate this “hopefully temporary” symptom.)
I like smells though. If you hand me a folded towel or blanket, the first thing I do is bring it to my face and inhale its scent, like any warm-blooded mammal would. I love when the scent of a neighbor’s campfire finds its way through the screens in my living room, or how Gisele’s fur smells fresh and clean when she comes in after being out on a cold, crisp day.
I crave the smell of coffee, baking sourdough bread, and all that is apple cinnamon in autumn. Scent is something that dictates your moods quite often, and our noses are always working, waiting for signs of danger or impending chocolate chip cookies, so I feel a little off.
I will be patient for now because what else can I do? And maybe I’ll lose a few pounds and use more deodorant while I wait, but when I do regain my senses once again, I will appreciate them all a little bit more. In the meantime, feel for the boys. It’s all I can focus on.