Today, I attend a conference and end up sitting by a colleague who worked with me when my role was different in the hospital. We lost touch, but have no trouble picking up right where we left off.
At one point in the conversation, my friend says, 'what are you doing outside of work these days?'
I talk about family, recent travel, and then reveal my perfume hobbit (hobby + habit = hobbit).
Pausing for a brief fantasy about perfumed Hobbits...
'Wow, that's so cool,' she says, and begins asking me all sorts of questions about perfume.
Because of Inner Critic - killjoy that he is - I'm always surprised when non-perfume people want to engage in conversation about this obsession. As of today, I will expect a positive response and be surprised when that doesn't happen.
'Have you read Jitterbug Perfume?' she asks.
What the hell?
Jitterbug Perfume, by Tom Robbins, is a perfumista cult classic. How is it that she has read this and I haven't?
Responses to her question race through my mind:
'Yes, of course.'
'As soon as I finish The Emperor of Scent.'
'I just started it last night.'
'What perfumista hasn't read Jitterbug Perfume?'
All lies, of course.
What I say, instead, is the shameful truth. 'I tried to read it awhile ago, but the print was so small that I got annoyed and quit.'
Then finally, she says, 'What about a book on tape?'
Well, maybe, but that would require paying attention and silencing the chaos in my head. I can imagine listening for 30 minutes only to realize that...what was I saying about Hobbits?
Reading actually suits me best and Jitterbug Perfume is the next book on my list.
Just as soon as I find it in large print.
Picture from opusoils.com