The smell of roasting carbon, attaching to your clothes, being carried around with you for hours, reminding everyone of a dark campground – the damp coldness that surrounds you in your chair as you poke away at the embers. It’s the smell of summer, matched perfectly with cut grass and cold beer. It’s what deep dark brown would smell like, the rigid hexagons of organic material just before it’s torn apart by heat and energy, the smell of natural chemistry, of destruction, of fresh life.

It’s a smell that you can taste, literally, charred into the flesh of whatever you’re cooking, darkening the corners and creating roadmaps across the front and back. Your mouth salivates. Your eyes start to water. Your entire body rushes to help put out the fire, sweating and creating moisture in a failed effort. It’s hot. It smells that way – like heat, like the most pure form of cooking ever discovered. The basics. Food. Fire. Smoke.

Is there anything more serene than staring into a black Weber grill, watching the charcoal change from black to grey, orange to red? Is there anything that proves the existence of warm days more than the warm, inviting smells of barbecuing?

It’s near perfect, if you ask me.

This was lovingly handwritten on April 15th, 2007