By Carrie Shanafelt

Carrie Shanafelt is an assistant professor at Grinnell College in Iowa, where she teaches eighteenth-century British literature and aesthetics.

  1. A few nights ago, while having drinks with friends at our rural Iowa bar, I suddenly smelled hot lavender wax. It took me a moment to realize that it was a synesthetic reaction to hearing the opening groove of Smokey Robinson’s “Cruisin’.” In the summer of 2003, that song played every hour in the soundtrack loop of the spa where I worked in New York City. Whenever Smokey came on, I would begin

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