I am not very good at remembering things. Most of the time when I enter a new room, my mind will go blank, and I’ll forget why I even walked in there. I constantly forget where I place items or what my mom told me to do just seconds after she tells me. I do, however, remember the most interesting and random things sometimes.
For example, I remember the distinct smell of the clown tent at my very first, and only, haunted house event that I ever went to. Now, I realize this sounds like a very strange thing to remember, and I suppose it is, but it is a happy memory that i’m glad my mind has decided to keep.
I was staying the night at my Grandma’s house one October day when my Aunt Kim invited me to a haunted house type of event that a group in one of the nearby towns put on every year. Naturally, my first instinct was to say no, but she didn’t seem to take that as an answer.
I’m not sure how I came to be coerced into going, but by the time I realized what was going on, I was already walking towards the campfire with my aunt and cousin, waiting for the next tour to begin.
I would like to say at this point that I was around thirteen at the time and hated anything horror related with a burning passion. My nerves felt frayed at the ends as I paced around that tiny campfire and prayed that I would live through this hellish circumstance.
The set up of the haunted house was actually a bunch of smaller tents that wound through a field and the surrounding woods. Each tent was to hold a newfound horror inside.
I did not like the idea of this set up, and yet I found myself wide eyed and just a bit less nervous as I walked through the fields to the first tent. I thought to myself, surely they won’t start with a bad tent. They will probably slowly become scarier as the tour goes on. This thought was completely and utterly wrong, but I’m glad it was.
The first tent was filled to the brim with smoke, strobe lights, and clowns with chainsaws. Fear gripped my heart for a split second as I took in the view, but then I remembered that they couldn’t touch me. I began to laugh softly, and my lips split into a hesitant grin. The air reeked of a smell akin to pure rubber.
After that tent, none of the next ones seemed that scary to me. The smell of rubber clung to my memory as I made my way through the rest of the tour.
Now, everytime I smell that distinct scent, I smile at the memory it holds.