“My nose knows no smell
That does not cause delight
If ever I died my hell
Would be to lose this sense of mine
I love the smell of flowers
And even a wet dog
To smell for me is heavenly
My nose to me is God”
Nathan thought back to his third year in school where he had asked his teacher, Ms. Bulldyke if he could read a poem he had written to the class. He had poured his heart into the poem the prior weekend, sitting out on the porch of his family home. It had been a humid day and the smell of an afternoon sun shower hitting the tarmac on the road had inspired him to try his hand at poetry; it was as if the kinetic energy from the gathering storm guided his hand. The words flowed from him and by the time he had finished he was sure he had penned a masterpiece.
His poem wasn’t well received.
Nathan was already a pretty unpopular kid and this rudimentary attempt at writing really solidified his social standing for him, it was the last nail in the coffin. Fat George, who Nathan had always considered to be the least popular kid (for he had shit his pants twice in the first three weeks of school), got a tonne of laughs when he yelled out ‘faggot’ – and that wasn’t the only problem: Nathan went to a severely religious school and the Bulldyke didn’t like the fact that he thought his nose was God. For this she put him on bin duty for four consecutive weeks – little did she know that Nathan would enjoy this punishment, spending his lunchtime picking up rubbish – the smell of bin juice particularly exciting him.
A week later whilst Nathan was on bin duty, a group of kids led by Fat George approached him and knocked him to the ground. They shoved his face in a pile of dog shit.
“Do you like the smell of THAT faggot?” Fat George hollered with glee.
Riding in the car with Barbara, Nathan wondered if he could trust her. The name Big Mal was particularly concerning to him – it sounded like a grownup version of Fat George, a name that had become synonymous with his mistrust in humankind. Although Nathan had secretly enjoyed the smell of the steaming dog turd that fateful lunchtime, it had also definitely created some trust issues for him.
“What’s on your mind?” Barbara asked sweetly.
“Nothing.” Nathan replied sheepishly.
“Well… I guess I don’t normally get in the car with strangers.”
“You have absolutely nothing to worry about.”
Barbara smiled and put her hand on Nathan’s thigh, only an inch away from the tip of his penis. Luckily for Nathan, his rod was still in an unresponsive stupor from the cinema incident – otherwise he would have embarrassed himself yet again. Barbara beamed.
“You’re gonna love Big Mal. He’s a great guy.”
The car had passed through to the seedy side of town whilst Nathan had been reciting his infantile poem. As he looked out the window and the city lights faded behind him, he didn’t have time to entertain all the bad things that could possibly happen to him – Barbara had sharply and abruptly turned into an alley.
“Get out.” She said sternly, and then burst out laughing when she saw Nathan’s ghoulish expression.
“Just kidding.’ Barbara said, patting his thigh again, this time brushing past his meatwand. Nathan almost died when he looked down and was reminded of the gargantuan semen stain born from his accident.
They got out of the car and Nathan followed Barbara into the darkness.
“Wait here.” She said as she fumbled through her handbag. Nathan couldn’t see a thing. The alley smelt of damp newspapers. He heard a door unlock and then felt the warmth of the room on the other side. They both scarpered in from the cold.
“This place was originally a bank.” Barbara said as she took her coat off, revealing her sumptuous fun bags. “When the recession hit it closed, and it was eventually bought in the early 1930s and turned into a bakery. The bakery was actually a front for an illegal whiskey distillery, the old bank vault being the perfect hiding place. Eventually the owner was caught and gaoled, and my Grandfather managed to score this place at a police auction – it’s been in the family ever since.”
Nathan weakly smiled at Barbara’s family history. He was terrified.
“Anyhow, you must be freezing. Come with me.”
Barbara motioned and Nathan followed. They passed through the first room and in front of them stood a glorious old bank safe, which read ‘Mosler LLC’. Barbara began working the safes main handles, her breast jiggling around as she entered in the combination.
As Barbara pulled the safe door open, music became present and grew from a soft hum to deafening heavy metal and Nathan’s nose started to spasm as it was hit with the most aggressive cocktail of scents he had ever come across. He could smell incense (Nag Champa he mused), leather, the smell of disinfectant on stainless steel and a whole galaxy of massage oils and lubricants. As they stepped through the door a short, squat man in a gimp mask presented himself. He was in his birth suit save for a small leather thong, and he wore leather straps across his barrel chest.
“G’day mate, I’m Big Mal.”
The man held his arm up, and squeezed the life out of Nathan’s hand when he embraced and shook.
Nathan fumbled. Socially bereft, a caricature of himself.
“Well how was the movie, Barbara?”
“Well… it was interesting, that’s for sure. Say Mal, would you mind showing Nathan around?
Nathan was bemused by the name Big Mal, there was nothing big about this rotund, nugget of a man. Nothing he thought, until Big Mal removed his gimp mask.
“Anything for you Barbara. Follow me, Nathan.”