First appeared at Apocrypha and Abstraction.
They say the nose knows, but that is just a not-too-clever play on words in my case. The last memory I have as a full person is the feeling of the steering wheel slipping out of my hands, that moment when touch ceased and then the spinning sound of metal and magic.
I no longer pay attention to sounds.
I was either a banker or was looking for work, I am no longer sure. I remember stuffing money into envelopes. Perhaps I was a very organized criminal.
All I know is that, upon waking, the smells were too intense to manage. I could smell the kindly nurse and her floral perfume, the bathroom down the hall that needed to be cleaned (badly), and the gelatin being stirred in the cafeteria.
I am slowly learning to manage my senses.
When the raspy voice in the bed next to me asked his doctor how long he had, I sniffed out his very life and told him, with accuracy, “About two more hours.” Everyone smelled stunned when it turned out to be true.
The day I finally get out of here, it is not going to be easy. I am no longer a set of eyes or hands, just a nose. Does any love noses? How does a nose become a productive member of society? I may not even be able to walk around.
Perhaps I can become a consultant in a cosmetics store (if the odors are not too overwhelming), or a fortune-teller, sniffing out the longevity of my clientele. I would make a great chef, as I now have refined tastes by virtue of my olfactory system.
Perhaps I will fold up and go away with the rest of what used to be this body, an appendage without a home and, worse yet, with no one to wipe me when I get runny.