CATHEXIS
sugar coated 
2018 - 08

I walk into the fragrance department of House of Fraser, greeting the sales assistant, Nina, a tanned older woman with shiny black hair and an always-killer pantsuit. She smiles at me in acknowledgement, but we have run out of things to talk about as I have been in here every day for the past two weeks. I bought something the first time, but since then have only lingered, sniffing bottles based off their titles - the names need to seduce me a little. I have been returning to an over-priced chrome bottle with the word Pegasus embossed on it. It doesn’t smell like any kind of horse, that would probably be too on the nose, but there is a leathery greyness to it that almost works - that could perhaps be structured to conjure up an image of horses with wings for business and not pleasure. Horses in battle, but the battlefield is a bank or the floor of a stock exchange, rather than the moth-like, leisurely behaviour I would prefer to embrace (or be embraced by). Lazy but intentional, like a butterfly cruising in the back garden on a hot summer’s day. Heavy like your drunk eyelids looking at me on a screen late at night in my living room.

If it seems a little much that I can even relate this act of smelling a perfume I saw on the internet to you, don’t worry - I know.  I relate everything back to you - that's how obsession works. I guess fragrance and desire are both objects you can allow to consume you completely, and so an obsession with one might only naturally translate into an obsession with the other. It might be different if we could touch on a regular basis, but instead I am in this department store, floating from bottle to bottle, looking for a way to wear the heat I imagine emitting itself from your throat as you watch me, cigarette in hand, burning distractedly.

Blackstaff Mill, Belfast