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Sunday. A day of the week which, largely due to its historical religious connotations, is unlike any other.

When I was a kid I thought that when I grew up Sundays would stop smelling of school from about 5pm onwards.
I was right, now Sundays smell of work, which is worse in a way 'cause I can't ask my mum to let me stay home.

The following things will always smell like Sunday to me (and I believe to a great many other people around the world):

1: Songs of Praise (Strikes fear into the hearts of most British people, but for non-Brits, substitute any religious program, which is on TV on Sunday evenings and which however much you hate it you will watch to avoid doing your homework*)

2: Postponing doing your homework* (see above. Can also be achieved by spending two hours on Sunday night balancing your pencil on your pencil sharpener; writing a list of all the homework you have to do, rather than actually doing it; phoning your friend to check if they have done their homework, and rejoicing in the idea of safety in numbers if they haven't)

3: Everything being shut (not as prevalent as it used to be, but here in Blighty on this, only one of two days off a week granted to the workers, everything is either shut all day, or shuts early. Especially the pubs**.)

4: The only thing not shut being Church - the one place you don't want to go (my mum very kindly gave me the option of going at either 11 a.m., requiring me to forgo my lie-in; or 6 p.m. requiring me to spend the entire day dreading the evening service.)

5: Christmas Day (Whichever day it actually falls on, it encompasses all the worst aspects of Sunday - feeling duty-bound to spend time with relatives and to go to church, being force-fed religious programming and everything in the fucking world being closed. Christmas Day is like Ultimate Sunday. Sunday 10 ; A week of Sundays rolled into one tearing-out-your-hair-with-boredom experience.

As you can see, I don't dig Sundays much.

* When grown up, substitute preparing for the week ahead for homework. i.e. Grown-up homework.
**See Arcane British Licensing Laws

This Sunday, the smells were subtle, but they indicated a stepping back into formation of my regular life. My body that had been sweating last night was cool and slick to the touch when I woke up at 10 this morning. It was sweat that was no longer warm, that no longer offended me. An onion bagel and cream cheese and an IBC Cream Soda. The hot black tar paper that is stapled down outside my front steps is like an ever-burning camp stove that has been left to smolder after the steaks and potatoes are done, like gray briquettes that you blow on as a child as they flare up cherry red as a surprise.

My first day back at the gym after almost 3 weeks of neglect. Chlorine from the pool outside. Coconut lotion. The stale synthetic smell of the showers as the jacuzzi bubbles to itself in the corner. The wood from the sauna smells like the boardwalk of my hometown, how I would walk on it barefoot, careful to avoid the hot heads of the nails that held it together. Even the ice cold water in the Kenwood cooler has a smell of refreshment, of cleanness among all this heat and release. Then, out of the shower, I am allowed to smell for a little while, like guava, roses, and peaches from all my creams and soaps, until I'm out on the hard pavement outside again, walking to my car.

Two air fresheners dangle from the windshield wiper arm on my steering column, but they have long since spent their artificial flowers and spices. In my ashtray there are little faded blue beads of potpourri I bought months ago to disinfect my car of any traces of clove cigarettes, so in this sense my car smells like failed attempts to cover up failure with flowers. It smells like the detail shop's oily dashboard spray and gasoline, of my sweaty feet and legs spreading over hot vinyl seats that are, thankfully, covered with cloth in the center. In the mornings during the week, it'll smell like fast food breakfasts, but today it smells like a Sunday.

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