Western United States | June 2010

North Dakota - Wyoming - Montana

When I put on this lotion, I don’t feel like I’ve traveled back in time as much as I feel like I’ve never even left Montana, or that I’m in fact experiencing the past and present simultaneously. I’m still standing in that wonderfully awful motel and I can smell the clean, wild air and feel the electric warmth from the bathroom heater with the wind-up timer and the buzzing red light. I feel the pull of Yellowstone and pitching camp and cooking outdoors and trying not to attract too many wild things. I feel the over-chlorinated bubbles of the motel hot tub against my skin, the aching looseness of my body after a few beers, and the power of cleavage on my self-esteem. I feel giddy over reading passages aloud from an old western smut novel purchased at an antique store in a tourist trap pioneertown.

This smell makes these memories feel so close, in a way that even my photographs cannot. I am thankful I decided on this brand of lotion before the trip, unknowingly creating a little hole in the space-time continuum of my brain in which I can transcend the current moment for moments passed. My own little DeLorean. I wonder how long this connection will last before it is generalized too much and fades. I think of all the other scents and sounds that transport me and reveal that the momentum of time is sometimes anything but forward.

But back to this scent. Every time I smell my hands tonight, I crave Montana.