Olfactory Memory

Summary - He doesn't wonder why the shirt never stops smelling of her. Attributes it to some sort of synapse, olfactory memory or something he's sure he's read about.

Authors Note: This is the first time I've ever posted anything like this. It's really short, but am interested to know what people think!

"You pin her handkerchief to your clean white linen sheets

And you unmake the bed and crawl in

You imagine her there, and your tangled in her hair,

And she smells like flowers again." - "All the Lilacs in Ohio" by John Hiatt

He had a tank top that belonged to her. It had been mixed in with his clothes on one of their trips. He doesn't tell her, assumes she won't miss it, sometimes he forgets about it completely. But every so often, usually after he's thrown back a tumbler or two of scotch, he retrieves the garment from the back of his sock drawer. It smells of her still, and he allows himself to close his eyes and pretend she's there with him. Above him, around him. He knows it's weird, knows that if she knew she'd be horrified, but somehow, in the moment, that doesn't matter.

He doesn't wonder why the shirt never stops smelling of her. Attributes it to some sort of synapse, olfactory memory or something he's sure he's read about. He doesn't remember the time Mary stayed over to avoid family drama because there are a lot of those times. Doesn't remember that her feet were cold and he told her to grab a pair of socks out his drawer. Has no idea that while she was digging for a specific fuzzy pair she knew he had and knew she liked, she found the tank, buried in the back under dress socks. Doesn't know that instead of horrified, she was oddly touched and a faint hint of something began to form in her subconscious. If he knew, she wouldn't be able to explain why she stripped her sweatshirt off and put the tank on underneath. Couldn't explain to him why, hours later, she excused herself to go to the restroom and made a detour to return the tank on her way back. She thinks one day she'll tell him, when she figures it out herself, why she looks for the article of clothing on those occasions she crashes on his couch. Why she has a ritual now.

He just thinks she likes his socks. And that he has memorized her smell.