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Homeless 0-45: The Nose

I flashed back on a familiar feeling as I buckled myself into the flight to Colorado yesterday morning. I’ve traveled in my life. I know how to be away from home. I pride myself on my adaptability. I can find decent bread, drinkable decaf, and a respectable supper within an hour of landing anywhere. You see, I have The Nose.

In Trastevere, a dinner guest exclaimed, “I worked in this neighborhood for years and I didn’t know about this restaurant! How did you?” The Nose.

In Prague, Amy struggling with the consonant-rich street signs to direct us to our hotel in the dark, laughs out loud claiming she’d marry me all over again for this one ability, as, using ded’ reckoning, I pull the rental car up in front of the place. The Nose.

Stranded in some Burgerville, I find the one diner to die for. Or, more properly, my nose finds it for me.

One of my Marketing professors explained that formal analysis was well and good, but none of it could hold a candle to a well-developed nose. “You’ve either got it or ya ain’t,” Dr. Kramer insisted. “I can’t teach it.”

I’ve got one of those noses. Maybe we each do.

I’ve been convinced that it’s not a universal nose, that it’s lousy at sniffing out some things. I’m shocked to discover that I have no hard evidence to support this conviction. I shouldn’t forget that if it’s got the dew laps for finding hospitality—home-iness away from home—it might prove useful in finding us a home, too.

I’m experimenting.

I’ve always privately tried on places I visit, wondering how it might be for me to live there. My critical eye can quickly discount almost anywhere as unlivable simply because it’s unfamiliar. The nose knows what no knee-jerk ‘no!’ ever understands. It knows what home smells like, whatever the deceptive packaging. Perhaps, if I attend to this one gift, it’ll sniff out some otherwise unlikely someplace welcoming us home.

©2012 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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