Let me preface this entry with a little back story. As is the case with many who suffer with bipolar disorder, Erik self-medicated in the past with alcohol and a variety of drugs. In the last couple of years, however, he had been almost completely drug free. He smoked pot no more than once or twice a month and never drank more than a couple of beers on the weekends. This is not a mom’s overly rosy perspective. It comes from many reliable sources.
If you remember from one of my earlier entries, Erik assured us that he would communicate with family members using every possible sense, including smell. He laughed as he told us we’d suddenly smell bong fumes so there would be no mistaking his presence. No floral scents, no heavenly spices, no perfumes.
I had all but forgotten this promise until this weekend. Sunday morning around four A.M, I woke up abruptly from a deep sleep. First of all, I found it odd to wake up in such a manner. I wasn’t sleeping lightly, and I wasn’t having any bad dreams. I just suddenly became highly alert. Then, I noticed a noxious smell in the room. Since it smelled like something was burning, my first concern was that the house was on fire. But there was no smoke and, well, frankly, it didn’t smell like I’d expect a burning house to smell. The odor had a pungent quality to it, like a lighted joint, but different—even nastier! Suddenly, I realized what it was. It was Erik, teasing us as he promised! I laughed and fussed at him for being a little sneak. Then, as abruptly as the odor appeared, it vanished. Always the loving prankster.