Starbucks VIA coffee was introduced when I lived on the island of Saipan. It’s fun to have in my desk at school, then and now. Whenever I stir it into hot water, I remember talking to Stuart about the Constitution or Oregon or being pale on a tropical island during our prep period at the school we taught at. The smell makes me expect to see geckos running along the ceiling lines or cockroaches scurrying across the floor. I expect to smell the processed air of the aircon and hear the machine sucking up energy outside. I lift my arms expecting them to feel sticky from the humidity. When I smell crystals dissolve into hot water, I am somewhere else.

Or the moldy musty smell of entryways or stairways, often in apartments, or most stairs descending into basements. This will always remind me of my grandmother’s basements, one in Oregon, one in Illinois. Each time, via the smell, I stepping back into time.

And so on.

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