The air is thick with whimsy. The scent is heavy and sweet; I can feel it collect on my tongue as I try to catch clouds. They drift away from me, crawling towards the end of the world with such determination that I can't help but feel in awe. Come back clouds, I call, come have tea with me and tell me stories of what you've seen. They won't come down. They've promised the Sun and Moon to remain silent and unobtrusive. But they shower me with sparkling powder that makes my skin glow and my veins pop with color.
I left my shoes behind a long time ago. They were cute little things, leather with wire shoelaces, but they cut the backs of my heels. They were not made for land, but they hardly deserved the sky either. They're in the conserve behind my house, placed neatly next to my polka-dot backpack and tin of mints.
A street vendor was a curly mustache had come into my life as briefly and nonsensically as a Roald Dahl plot device; he sold me six balloons for a pack of gum and a hair ribbon. He told me to wait until I got home to tie the balloons around my wrist. Instead, I did it right there and drifted away. I bobbed over my house and kicked off my earthly items, watching the plants try and catch them and my dog barking and wagging her tail from inside the screened-in pool area.
The balloon turned to swans and they carried me higher, faster, and the strings multiplied and formed a net around my body. I found a pair of goggles in my penny-sized purse and strapped them on. I sat back in the string net and stared up at the swans who, in a past life where I may have had to stitch nettle-sweaters in silence, could have been my lost brothers.
There's only the sky. Endless blue, but not the kind that's full of salt and rainbow fish. This blue is pure; the air up here is gauzy. It tickles your throat. There's too much and too little and the winds each have their own names and up here, only up here, can they whisper them to you.
Somewhere below a boy is waiting for us to land. He wipes his glasses with a green cloth and keeps watching the skies. Consulting his compass, a trinket from childhood, he knows that I'll soon be landing. The compass doesn't point north. It points to the heart.
Spring Break is finally here. It's just begun but before I know it I'll find myself standing at the edge of the week, peeking over and seeing the classes back in session and the grades pouring in. However, I'm not there yet. I'm trying to enjoy the moment.
There's something relaxing about wandering in and out of stores. A delight, perhaps, in the colorful displays and whirring electronics, and the people who come out to gaze in windows and carry heavy bags. I never tire of it. Yesterday I came back with a few treasures, but perhaps the most thought-provoking one is actually a new perfume I picked up.
I'll never forgive Bath & Body Works for discontinuing my favorite scent as a girl, Daffodil Fields, but once and a while I'll feel curious about what the company is up to. I'll wander in, take a peek. Kind of like an older sister. But when I went in yesterday, I was immediately drawn to a new fragrance. The ribbon-typography yanked me in and the smell, well, it made me smile and start dreaming, right there in the store. I fumbled around for some cash and, in the end, settled on a small spray bottle and lotion of Carried Away.
The official website describes the scent thusly:
"Master perfumers have blended lush raspberries and juicy pear nectar with white jasmine and whipped vanilla to create this whimsical fragrance inspired my the way love sweeps you off your feet."
I'm not sure if anything can truly be captured in a bottle, except perhaps a genie. However, I must say that I'm greatly inspired by Carried Away.
I get carried away by many things. Crushes, manuscripts, side projects, grading, big dreams that threaten to swallow me whole with their repetition. However, it's not often that I'll look at something and think, "Oh, that's the sky in that bottle. It's the clouds, the birds, the sun and the love that I may have seen or felt as splintered pieces over the years."
Just the size of the atmosphere.