Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Nosy Interview: Lucy Biederman

Lucy in the Orion Nebula: The Hubble View, © NASA, ESA, M. Robberto (STScI/ESA) et al.

When I think of meeting Lucy, I think first of her voice. Lucy has best kind of voice, sort of throaty and excited, a voice that immediately suggests you are in for a very good time should you be so lucky as to talk with her. You can get a taste of Lucy's written voice by visiting her web site.

What do you smell like? & What do you like to smell? 
The world I live in is hypoallergenic, dust-free, air-purified, and fragrance-free. You may not know that there is a difference between unscented and fragrance-free, but I know, oh I know. Fragrance-free is for the more hardcore, superallergic of us, those who cannot tolerate scent and other additives (in fact, my mouth and armpits are itching as I write this, thinking of fragrances); unscented means scents were added, just nothing specifically perfume-y smelling.

Which is to say, I probably don’t smell like much. Most of the products I use, from dryer sheets to tampons, are fragrance-free. There are some rogue regular-person products I use, deodorant and what-not, that for whatever reason don’t give me rashes or reactions; 31 years’ experience suggests that this is less a matter of the products themselves than maintaining enough of a hypoallergenic environment—no flowers, no pet—that my immune system doesn’t hit its very low-set freak-out point.

Anyone who’s traveled with me is acquainted with what one of my brothers once referred to as my “hermetically sealed, hypoallergenic, sterile, silken sleeping sleeve.” I need this because otherwise I won’t take in enough air during the night; if I don’t take in enough air during the night, I will have a migraine the next day. A friend recently asked, ever so delicately, how I am able to have sex in it. It turned out she thought I used it at home, too, silly girl! I explained to her that at home I have my own system of mattress, pillow, and duvet encasings, and weekly extra-hot washings (in fragrance-free laundry detergent) to reduce dust mites.

I hope this doesn’t sound like complaining. There are many things I am perfectly happy to complain about, but this isn’t among them. As chronic conditions go, moderate (occasionally severe) allergies and migraines aren’t bad; and at this point in my life I am mostly able to control them through environment and a lot of medication.

My bedroom is extra, extra scent-free. I love to smell its nothing-cold air at the end of the day. I am so tired. I have lived in so many places, too many places. I think I am the oldest 31-year-old in America, I’ve seen too many things. I love it when I open my bedroom door, and hear my huge Honeywell Enviracaire Air Cleaner’s industrial drone. I even have a little pink rug for it, like a pet bed. My bed is crisp, crunchy, hard with encasements, and that’s what makes it mine. It’s more comfortable to me than any other comfort, those smushy, scent-smelling comforts of other people.

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