I had promised myself I wouldn’t write anything today as I am feeling mind-wiped, but seeing this just-out-in-Nippon release in Takashimaya ( a take no prisoners, self confidently fresh and sharp mandarin tuberose neroli that she would never wear in a million years though I might ), I am simply putting this up to pique the amusement of my best friend Helen – who is anything but heartless
– though she can be severe and cut to the core and tell it like it is because she seems to understand me better than possibly anybody else: a soul twin, telepathic understanding that, though we speak far too little ( as we are both lazy and crap ) we know, as long as we remain intact, we will always have.
( the picture above is H giving me a pep talk before my Perfume Lovers London talk of 2014 ….. god how time so quickly flies……)
Helen has talked me through many a difficult situation: like my mother (in the earthquake, my operation, both were amazing ) they tell me just the right combination of reality and boost. A hotwire to my sensibility; fraternal umbilical straight to my fevered, potholed brain.
We are also both hypochondriacs. So god knows how she would feel being here where I am today, in Yokohama,; the biggest China Town in all of Asia, where a cruise ship is quarantined off shore walking distance from where I have lessons with passengers coming down like flies with the coronavirus, and where, as you can see, masks are selling out and there is a very uneasy feel in the air – as there is globally – as people are wondering what to believe, and whether they are over or underreacting; where being on packed trains feels unpleasant and dangerous, and where tempers get frayed —
– —- my ragged own, especially ( I had an argument with my closest Japanese male friend on the bus earlier this afternoon. about a common colleague who was espousing theories the other day about only the ‘weak’ being in danger of contracting the virus and being very arrogantly ‘unconcerned’ about the illness – —- so would that include me, then? having had very serious pneumonia in my left lung twice before ; I didn’t like the almost Nietzschean Ubermensch implications of what he was saying (and what of the immune stressed sleep deprived students, just before the most important exams of their lives ?); my friend said it was a linguistic misunderstanding: I responded with something below the belt about the man’s appearance…., oh when I get on the defensive I can be very venomous ; bile slips from my tongue with slippered ease.,.. …. never mind Heartless Helen; it is more like Noxious Neil (so should I wear the partner in the set, then : the devilish and dastardly woody tobacco scent, Terrible Ted? )
No : I think Helen would suit me much better : we need proud nosegays in these pestilential times; bright flowers (Penhaligons calls this a ‘fearless conquistador’), and everybody knows that I love oranges. don’t think about it, H would say, rationalize, hone in to the very best perspective; reverse or brake my hysteria —- ———- or at the very least, just try and steer me towards a more pacified lucidity