Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Nosy Interview: Rebecca Hoogs

 Rebecca pictured in The Seagull Nebula, © Michael Sidonio

Rebecca was my boss at Seattle Arts & Lectures, and though I am no longer paid to brainstorm with her, I still consider the activity one of the most valuable ways to spend an afternoon. You can buy Rebecca's chapbook, Grenade, at Open Books, and read some of her poetry here.

What do you smell like?  
Well, you can't smell yourself, or if you can, that's usually a bad sign, so I can only imagine the things I must smell like, which are the things I've come into contact with in the past 24 hours or week or life. Right now I probably smell like box wine and wet wool. I probably smell a bit like my cats and though I'm fond of how they smell, I know this is a bad thing. Luckily I'm not a spinster. I have a husband who smells like cats, too, so that must make it more ok. I probably smell like Tom's of Maine honeysuckle deodorant which I've used for so long I can't smell it any more but I can still smell the word "honeysuckle" which I love. I probably smell l like old house given that the one I live is was built in 1924; and spilt coffee, since I'm always spilling it on myself on the way to work as I attempt to drink it from a defective to-go mug; and cheese and crackers. I love cheese and crackers. Sometimes I might put on Tocca's Aqua Profumata, Amalfi, but then I smell too perfumey and will feel a little pukey if we drive anywhere. 

What do you like to smell?
I love to smell lilacs in the spring, and rosemary, especially when I'm walking in my neighborhood, and raspberries in the sun in the summer in a field. I love to walk into a house where someone has been cooking, and smell that. I love the smell of the heat traveling through the vents the first time you turn it on in the fall. I love the hot woody smell of a sauna. I love the smell of the Korean Spa in Lynnwood, WA. I love the smell of coffee in the morning, and especially coffee in Italy. I love the smell of Rome, the smell of heat and even the smell of garbage. I remember returning from Italy and being fond of the smell of Pioneer Square in the morning in the summer because it reminded me of Italy, and then realizing that was because the streets smelled like urine. I still liked it. I love other bad smells, like manure, because it reminds me of home and hay and the farm. I love the smell of hamburgers at a ski slope. I love the whooshy smell of a new can of tennis balls. I love the smell of new clothes. I love the smell of a vintage clothes shop, or any thrift store, which is the smell of the possibility of treasure. Which is also the smell of sadness. I like passing someone in a crowd that smells like an old boyfriend and being whisked back in time for a moment. Now you are making out on a horsehair couch. I like the smell of a fair: elephant ear, roasted corn, Gravitron grease, prize chicken shit. When I was a kid I loved the way my Cabbage Patch kids smelled, especially the preemies; I loved sweet plastic. There are so many smells I love: salt air, lake water, campfire, cedar wood. My husband. Home.


Janet Brown said...

Smelling the word--I love that! I don't think I've ever smelled ambergris but I savor the smell of that word. And the 'whooshy smell" is perfect too--thank you!

Preets said...

The smell of the possibility of treasure is *always* the smell of sadness. Thank you for making me realise that!

britta said...

I second Preeta, the sad smell of the thrift shops. Also the smell of new tennis balls (whoooosh) and those hamburgers at lunch after skiing. This is beautiful, Rebecca. (And wow: that boyfriend with a horsehair couch? How romantic.)

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