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The back exit of the Thai restaurant burps coconut curry and sweet peanut breath. Manufactured “musk” and “tropical paradise” cling to the freshly showered morning commuters’ laundered blazers. Unwashed fabric fumes on homeless clothing, boots, a backpack and a moist leather bracelet with a metal clasp–– I can smell it all. The iron scent of sweat, cigarettes by brand, misted pavement and piss on the concrete corner. The sweet sometimes sickly florals that creep in. Lavender and magnolia and daphne. Pine, sap, the mossy underside of a tree limb in sweet rot on Belmont and 43rd, and me and 10 million scent receptors and the city.

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