I just finished bleaching my shower walls and curtain. recent poor drying technique coupled with some longer-term neglect had invited bits of pink in between my tiles and black dots on my liner. despite its tendency to make my eyes water and skin tingle, bleach remains one of my favorite smells. it reminds me of the pool, and of Sam's house. one time at the pool in what was likely near the summer after fourth grade, William and I collected upwards of twenty bees—mostly dead, from the pool's gutter and the ground, but some alive—in a small plastic box. William and I were very close until he changed schools and we both eventually went off to high school. we used to make zombie apocalypse survival weapons, like dowels with nails protruding from them, and other pieces of wood with nails protruding from them, in the shed by his house. I thought about these on the train back from connecticut this weekend, when I was reading The Argonauts and Maggie Nelson said, "one night during our courtship, I came home to find the stump with bolts lying across the welcome mat of my porch. You had left town, and I had been baffled by your departure. But when I ascended my front steps and saw the weapon, shadowy in the twilight, I knew you loved me." William changed schools soon after he punched Sara, a girl on whom I had a massive crush which was not at all reciprocated. instead, Sara and I and another girl I briefly had a crush on started a band. I was also very close with Noah a few years earlier, who also punched someone (for saying christianity was better than judaism), and also changed schools (not because of punching). this was not a common occurrence. Sam's house was huge and fun and I was there often. when my brother did not take enough care of his frogs, my dad made him throw them into Sam's pond. his pool house (pool house!!), where we would sleep and play jak 3, had a tv so big it was made up of multiple smaller tvs. the youngest labradoodles his mother bred—some so small they had not yet opened their eyes—also stayed in the pool house. and to avoid tracking in icky ground bacteria that might upset the puppies, we had to remove our shoes and dip our feet in bleach water before entering. I did not do much bleaching in elementary school so the smell was mostly associated with sleepovers and video games and puppies. Sam was the youngest of three large boys and acted accordingly; he told me he picked out his airsoft guns because they shot the fastest and therefore would hurt the most. he was one of my best friends throughout elementary school until the other boys and I started to drift apart slightly in middle school. once in sixth or seventh grade, sometime after they built the new cafeteria, I left my calculator watch behind in P.E. class and couldn't find it in the gym. the next day I saw Sam wearing an identical watch. his dad had just given it to him, he claimed (I did not believe him, but did not press hard enough to get it back). Gina eventually gave me the same exact watch eight years later.