Bill found a package of old Will Vinton Studios Claymation clay in a small side table in the garage this evening. There’s a years’ old fingerprint that reminds me of a crime scene, and even though I’ve been thinking about scent and memory for a long time, I was still surprised by what came up.
One part chemical/plastic, one part earthy, one part grade-school art class, and one small part fear. It smells different when you warm it up – friendlier, but I can’t exactly say I like it, it’s more that I can’t stop smelling it.
I’d been playing around in my room with some blue modeling clay, and went out to talk to my parents about something. I’d been rubbing my eye and my mom took one look at me and freaked out, demanding that I look at her and then hustling me to my dad who took me in the powder-room for a better look. In the wall-wide mirror above the sink, I saw a dark blue bit of clay about half the size of my iris on the white of my right eye – it didn’t hurt so much as it just looked wrong. I started crying from the fear of it, but I don’t remember how exactly the situation resolved. One whiff of the clay Bill found today, and I was back staring wide-eyed at my face in the mirror, vision tunneling to the blue smudge whose irregular shape was the only thing I could see.