Or at least it did for a moment. I’m not sure where the smell came from, but I’m certain that it was the inescapable smell of Cincinnati’s own, Skyline Chili.
If you’re not familiar with the smell of Skyline Chili, you have clearly never been to a Skyline. It’s a strong smell, but it’s not unpleasant. It smells partially of chili spices, partially of cheese, and mostly of my hometown. I honestly don’t think I could describe the smell in words if I sat here for hours. The main thing to know about this smell is that once you’ve walked into a Skyline, you will smell like Skyline for days.
I used to spend every Monday with my friends eating at the Cleves Skyline. I would come home knowing I needed a shower, but it was always late and I always had homework. So I changed my clothes and got to work. There were so many nights in my life when I came home smelling of Skyline that it just became a part of who I was.
But here is where I take pause. This is the first time I’ve worn this sweater since I put it away for the winter. Even considering the persistence of Skyline, this sweater should only smell of laundry detergent or stale storage. And yet I know I smelled Skyline. It’s probably just my brain playing a trick on me. Someone was probably getting chili from the food truck as I walked past and my brain must have just jumped to conclusions. After all, I had Skyline at least once a week for years. I miss it.
And it’s not just the wonderful food I miss. I miss the community that we had on Monday nights. I miss the easy atmosphere. I miss not having to struggle to keep straight the names of the people I’m with. I miss silence being just as comfortable as speaking. Don’t get me wrong, I am so happy to be here and so lucky to have new friendships. I just miss the smell of Skyline.
My dad visited yesterday and we went to the Columbus area Skyline. When I got back to my dorm my shirt smelled only of detergent.