The Scent of Paint

Dearest Rachel –

After two straight days in which the painters have been working past five – in fact, to nearly six – in the evening, it was strange to come home from the ‘office’ this afternoon to an empty house. Guess they considered their work to be finished; no sense staying past that point just to say they were here.

They left behind rooms that were pristine white; almost as antiseptic as a hospital room.

Only, they didn’t smell like a hospital room. Rather than medicine or cleaning agents, it was the scent of paint that filled my nose as I stood in each room, taking in their work.

I had forgotten what this fragrance was like, since the last time we were painting a room, it was when we first moved in, over twenty-five years ago. And these weren’t the rooms we worked on; we limited our efforts to the bedrooms upstairs – along with the master bedroom, of course. We could live with the pale orange throughout the majority of the ground floor rooms, but the mint green in our bedroom had to go. If nothing else, it had to be replaced with a hue of purple for your sake.

While I don’t remember the exact smell, I know that the paint we used for our bedroom had a little something extra in it. I don’t know if it was by accident or design, but I always thought I could detect a hint of lilac as we applied it throughout that room, in addition to the basic oily smell of the paint itself. Given the color, that was appropriate, and I always assumed it was a deliberate additive.

But it didn’t last long, as I recall, and it would hardly be expected to have lasted this long, in any event. But I kind of miss the scent, and it’s nice to have it around once again, if only for a little while. It reminds me of a sort of renewal, which I guess is what this whole process is supposed to be, in a way. It’s also a note to my nose that things are getting done, and we’ll be starting to see some serious changes in the near future; it’s about to accelerate, in fact, once the next week begins. It’s something to look forward to.

Of course, by then, it will most likely have faded a bit, and get covered up once again with the smell of wood and varnish and all that might be contained in the cabinetry; I can’t even guess what other smells might accompany them, but I suspect there will be more for my nose to take in and interpret as progress. And to be fair, wood does smell better than most paint, in any event. But for the moment, it’s nice to take a deep breath and appreciate with multiple senses what’s been done, since soon enough, it will disappear beneath those coming developments.

I’ll keep you posted, of course, honey. Until later, keep an eye on us, and wish us luck.

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I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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