Friday, May 27, 2011
The Smell of an Alcoholic
First things first. You know the five senses – sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell. I think we all have a balance of them. But, if you are lacking in one, well, you probably compensate in another. My hearing, well it isn’t so great. Where I make up for it is in smell. I don’t smell as good as a dog, but I tell you, I’m probably the human equivalent of a drug sniffer dog. Except, I’m a alcoholic sniffer person.
So, let me explain. I used to have a supervisor that was an alcoholic. He drank – a lot. and then I had an alcoholic boyfriend for way to many years of my life. I think in both cases, their poison of choice was beer. No matter if I was smelling it while it was being consumed (sorta like bread) or the next day (sorta sour), both those folks had a different smell. And I smelled it often – as I was with both those folks a lot.
So what I’m saying is not only am I sensitive to the smell of fresh beer, I’m sensitive to the way that it is metabolized in an alcoholic. I think an alcoholic processes it differently thus emitting a different odor.
Ok, so lets fast forward 5 to 10 years.
The sound of both the opening of a can and the crunching of a can just makes my skin crawl. It could be a coke and it still has the same affect.
I can still smell beer (fresh or from the day before if it is an alcoholic) on someones breath from about 30 feet away. I’m not just referring to my husband (who drinks fresh beer but does not have the sour smell the day after), I’m talking about standing in line at the grocery store, or passing in the hall, or even waiting at a stoplight if you and I both have our windows down.
1. There are at least two alcoholics in this building. I smell them every day. I avoid walking behind them and I hate it when our paths cross. Sometimes I can smell them before I see them. Oddly enough, they both have red patchy skin and look like they may have high blood pressure.
2. This morning, we were behind a paint van and someone in that van was an alcoholic based on the smell I had coming through my a/c. They were the only car around with the windows down.
3. I work right in the heart of a college town. I realize that a lot of kids drink and party. But, it is funny that not everyone has that alcoholic scent. At least once a week, I brush by one kid who has that sour smell.
4. At least one person I know (personally) has that smell and it bothers me. Like, what do I say? Hey, you have an alcohol problem. I suppose I don’t see them that much anymore so it isn’t a big deal – except for the fact they are ruining their liver.
Is there an extra or strong sense you have? Does it bother you?
at 10:22 AM