I love cement. It's not just that I love it, I am...how shall I say...physically attracted to it. It's the smell, I think. My husband suspects that I must have an iron deficiency because I am drawn to root vegetables like beets (which he loathes) and things that taste of earth. But when I smell wet stone or, worse, wet cement, it creates a physical pang in me, not unlike a hunger. Basements are attractive to me (well, clean basements...not the scary, moldering kind), and the smell inside the stairwells of the 11th Century chateau that my grandparents renovated and, for much of my early life, inhabited, makes me swoon a bit. The smell of a stone ballustrade after a rain is, for me, akin to the aroma emanating from a good bakery, like ozone after a rainshower, like new-mown hay.
I also love the history contained in cement, the way fossils are trapped in a mudflat...footprints, paw prints, the shadow of a fallen leaf...and of course the names of long-gone children, scrawled with a stick, or the signature of a craftsman or landowner.
Who, do you suppose, was F. Lind?.....