The wonderful thing about living now is how connected we are. I know that this is problematic as well: you don’t need to tell me. But when we are faced with the prospect of all being locked up inside, going barn crazy, it is so great that we can just press a few buttons and talk to our family and friends and simultaneously see their faces while doing so. This was something I actively used to fantasise about when watching Startrek on TV as a child. To boldly go. And now it is real.
Talking with my parents today earlier – them in the living room in their dressing gowns, us upstairs in ‘Joni Mitchell’ (the piano and cinema room) about the escalating situations around the world that we are all glued to, even if it is quite nice to take your mind off it sometimes for a while (D and I spent this glorious sunny afternoon cycling along parts of our neighbourhood we have infrequently or never been to before; random roads, past unknown houses), I discovered to my absolute astonishment during the conversation that one of my cousins has in fact already come down with the virus and already recovered (she caught it in Northern Italy, when skiing and is now in isolation).
My senses went into overdrive. Somehow, feeling all greasy and grotty after all the exercise in the unusually warm sun and then from the heat of cooking dinner ce soir, the news that someone in my family has already been through the coronavirus and come out the other side alive just made me suddenly despair strongly for something soft, aldehydic, harmless, lovely – a hot shower with lots of soap and then rushing upstairs frantically in search of More By Shiseido, my first choice that came immediately to mind, a sixties or seventies floral aldehydic that has all the fluffiness and teen bedroomness of those cozed up in the sheets pyjama party perfumes like Chantilly by Houbigant (remember that one? so damn comforting); but try as I might I just couldn’t locate the gorgeously crisp yet talcum powdery confection that is More. Instead, my lingering wrist chanced lightly among my armoire upon a small bottle of Indra!, a cheap as chips little perfume (rose, jasmine, iris, aldehydes, soft base) – given to me by a friend a few years ago and that I had somehow neglected but that actually ended up being even better. As I sit here in my pyjamas, clean and very pleased that my cousin is alright ( I know it doesn’t detract from the severity of the worldwide situation, but just let me have my five minutes), this perfume couldn’t possibly be more perfect right now, at this actual moment. I don’t need to psychoanalyse the situation. I just know that this smells like 1983, and I am happy.