I haven't met Emma Forrest, but I feel towards her that odd mix of intimacy and gratitude that comes from reading a memoir that moves you. And, like many of her readers, I'm pretty enamored of her parents. I so wish I could have attended Emma's recent reading at the Scent Bar in Los Angeles, complete with fragrances chosen, by past nosy interviewee Katie Puckrik, to connect to the book's emotions. (You can read a description of the event on Emma's blog.) Here is a fitting passage from Your Voice in My Head to tide you over until you get your hands on her book:
I don't exercise every day and I don't meditate every day, but I do think of suicide every day, as if nodding respectfully at it on my way to work. Some days I awake with the thought of it, or am woken by it. Other days it comes to me when I don't get out of bed fast enough. More rarely, it is my last thought as I drift to sleep. I haven't ever had the thoughts once I am out in the world. It isn't often reactive—it's unusual that something happens to make me think, I should kill myself! It's something softer, something more like a scent. Is it my signature scent, I've come to wonder, and I barely notice it. Just every few years it gets overpowering. For the most part, the touch of the cats distracts me. Music distracts me. Making love—when I am in love—distracts me.
What do you smell like?
I smell of Ojon dry shampoo, which I use so I don't have to wash my hair more than once or twice a week. It smells of macadamia nut. If I wear a scent it's Praline de Santal by Pierre Guillame — a salty-sweet perfume (praline and sandalwood) that you have to use sparingly.
What do you like to smell?
I like to smell my cat's paw pads — which weirdly, smell of tacos. I also like to hold their paws in my mouth, which my boyfriend thinks is absolutely disgusting. I like to smell his armpits when he's been without deodorant, which he thinks is disgusting too, but I think it's heaven.