I woke up slow and easy, then choked on an overwhelming stench, something I never noticed before.  This entire apartment building reeks of stale smoke, mostly tobacco, although there are tenants who also smoke nasty shit, little rocks, herbal remedies, and brown cigs that only cost a buck a pack.

It is time to start the Big Clean.

I can’t do anything about anywhere except inside my own apartment but I have plenty to do in here.  Everything needs washed down to remove all traces of lingering tobacco film and smokey odors.  We are talking walls, ceilings, fabrics, carpets, everything.  I’m thinking that I am going to have to discard anything that can’t be washed.  I can make new cushions for my couch and rocking chair.  (The frames are metal Martha Stewart Outdoor Living and came with thin, outdoor grade cushions. For indoor use, I wanted thicker cushions with better fabric.)  Drapes can be cleaned.  I can buy a new office chair, but what am I to do about my bed?  I laid down a grand for the mattress and box springs not that long ago.  I cannot afford to replace it.  I can’t even haul it down the steps and out the door to air it outside; it would be gone in a New York minute. Maybe “they” sell something that sprays on to eliminate all leftover tobacco scents instead of just masking odors.  Or in time, maybe it will fade.  I don’t know.

What I do know is that my apartment smells bad, all my clothes smell bad, everything in here smells bad, and it is really kind of bizarre because if you asked me what my favorite scents are, excluding candle scents like hazelnut and vanilla, I would tell you that one of the most sexiest smell in the world is a combination scent of leather, tobacco, and a certain brand of men’s deodorant.  Add in a hint of a particular type of cutting oil (some shops use a drop of this old-fashioned oil to lubricate the bed on a surface grinder) lingering on a cotton shirt washed in Tide and oh my gosh, curl my toes and I’m like ooooooobabiessss, you smell good, come here and talk to me.  Those combination scents always included tobacco, but the scent of that oil by itself is an aphrodisiac.  What if I end up repulsed by men who smoke?

Oh well.  I guess I’ll just roll with what comes.

Today’s art is the first of two heavy-handed graphite pencil drawings that reflect how I feel waking up smelling leftover smoke.  I’ll post the other one tomorrow.

Thank you for viewing my art!


8 Responses

  1. Yeah, one of my favorite old sayings many moons ago was: “I love the smell of a machine shop in the morning!” I know exactly the smell of which you speak! Can’t say I thought it sexy though, lol. Sounds like you are on a very good track with the recognition of the stench and plans to clean it up. I am very glad that my daughter had banned smoking in the house since she was preggers with my granddaughter. So we didn’t have that smell in the house when i reached my quit day. Though my son-in-law does smoke in the back room where the laundry is, but it is ok, cause I only have to be in there occasionally. But it is enough to remind me how much I don’t miss the stench in my personal cave(my room). Once again I will repeat, YOU GO GIRL!!

    • It is an overwhelming task but if I keep working on, maybe hire someone to help me, it will get done. Oh, what I have to look forward to! Thank you!

  2. This is definitely an “I am quitting smoking” drawing.

  3. It is so heavy and dark and dirty. Like smoke that covers walls after years of constant smoking. Very interesting.

    I feel for you living with such smells. Not fun at all.

    • Thankfully my walls don’t look that dirty but I know it is there… I can smell it. Thanks for commenting!

  4. I sprayed the mattress and box springs with Lysol disinfectant every day…and I DO mean every day…for months. I still have the same mattress and box springs but the “odor de stale cigarette smoke” no longer torments my nostrils. I still haven’t found a way to get that stench out of old legal papers, however. (You know, the ones the lawyer and IRS say need to be retained ad infinitum.) The process of cleansing “that smell” out of the house is part of letting go. The good part: the vanilla and hazelnut smells will become much stronger or more satisfying as the nasty aroma goes away AND your morning coffee will become aroma therapy. LOL. (I know what you mean about the cutting oil/leather/fresh out of the shower combo on a man. My pulse kicks up a notch when I smell it, too!)

    • Thanks Jai, I do believe it will take months… cleansing as part of the process of letting go sounds like a plan. What about sealing fabric softener sheets in with papers? Might not remove the smoke, but it may add an April freshness. 😀


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