I have to walk to class every day because I’m broke, so I don’t own a car. It’s not too bad. The distance is a little over a mile, so it’s a long enough time to slowly watch fast cars almost hit one another but short enough to not tire out my feet.
It’s been raining the past few weeks, and people love to comment on it. They say things like, “Oh man it’s wet outside! But we sure do need the rain.” I couldn’t give a damn whether or not we need the rain. What makes the rain so great for me is the smell.
It smells amazing. I realize how strange that must be to say. “You know what smells absolutely terrific? When rain gets all over the roads. Can’t get enough of it.” But it’s true: wet pavement smells incredible.
It smells like something is about to be built. Created. There is absolutely no reasoning behind that connection. It’s not like things get built more often while it rains. Quite the opposite is true, really; construction generally slows down or stops if there’s too much rain. It makes sense to me, though.
Wet pavement is the smell of creation.
On rainy days when I have class, I get to smell the sweet aroma for almost the entire walk.
It’s always interrupted by the underpass on 21st street, though. It’s really short— maybe a block— but it sucks. The smell of creation turns into the smell of train shit almost instantly.
Whatever mixture of sludge, rain, oil, cancer, and other unidentifiable substances spew from that locomotive seep through the cracks of the concrete. Drips of horribleness fall all over the place.
It doesn’t smell like creation.
It smells like destruction.
Like I said, it’s only about a block long, so it’s not too horrible.
Matthew Fugere is a writer and a student from Virginia. When he isn’t writing or studying, he’s probably drawing raptors or flossing. Both are very important activities to him.