This story is a memoir, of jakob and an unusually long short story (ben). P. 191 trace to trace something is to outline it on the piece of paper of a reality, of a larger picture. Trace is to follow or track it, to look for sings/indicators, vestiges of what was once there and is no longer there. Michaels juxtaposes jakobs writing with michaela"s fugitive sense. Trying to set down the past is like trying to capture these delicate fleeting qualities of. The faculty of smell is closely related to memory. Memory is thought of as a tracing of something into the mind. When you memorize something you repeat it, rehearse it until it"s in your mind. Scents are memories we can follow, but they are not the actual thing. But if we read with care and empathy we can come closer to what is being described/experience that is being described.