Once in a mall I went to to look at a shelf a young man had passed. And I found that I kept returning to the spot pretending to inspect the shelf because he had left his perfume behind and it was the perfume of young men who can’t afford better. And instantly I was reminded of high school and boys and awkward glances and teachers and dressing for school and occasionally getting the strong scent of cheap aftershave at the morning assembly.
The scent of youth and hope and a life lived hard for.
And so I stood in the chips aisle, still for a moment, steeped in the memory of a girl with a whole world of possibility ahead of her, adjusting her ponytail and trying to clean black polish off the hems of her white pants.