The Smell of Breath Review

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I follow Conor and his partner(s) on Instagram and Youtube, so it’s always a treat to read something written by someone I feel like I … sort of know? I’ll start with saying that I absolutely loved what Conor prefaced this work with:

This is not fiction. But I’m also not sure if it happened this way. I know memory is creative.

I really appreciate this, because I often feel this way about my own life and my perception of connections with people. I’ve talked with partners from my past and they’ve thought drastically different things about situations than I did… anyway.

There is something universally human about many of the different writing segments/conversations/poems in this work that I appreciated. I’m not sure what exactly I expected, but I did find myself a bit disoriented in terms of timeline at some points… but maybe that’s just part of the experience of diving into someone’s past/connections. I got a little confused when there was a switch between “I” and “he,” but maybe I just missed if there was some reason for that. At points I did feel myself thinking that this feels like a catalog of people he has slept with and the events surrounding that, but that may just be my own shit coming up when I think about relationships and connections between men and women.

One thing that resonated with me was in the very first piece actually, about stories repeating themselves and that they don’t really feel like they’re in the past. I’ve often had an odd sensation when arguing with people or trying to force relationships to work that just don’t… that I’m trying to fix something unfixable from my past. That something rooted deeply in me is trying to resolve itself through relationships with others. I’ve gotten so much better at recognizing the difference between what I need versus what I think I should accept… those can be very different. And I’ve also extricated myself from connections with people that were toxic/not reciprocated… too complicated to understand, but definitely not healthy.

Overall, this work was…  helpful? insightful? poignant? to read because it did make me look at some of my own growth/development trajectories and how I have helped/hindered them over the years. A quick but good read. I’ll share some of my notes that I wrote in the book, some sort of came out like a poem, weirdly enough. This book did make me examine myself and my actions/thoughts/past in different ways, which I always enjoy. Anyway, here are my notes, they likely make no sense, but that can be fun too.

 

Don’t miss your window
Idealizing women isn’t healthy

Don’t you see what you’re doing?

She wouldn’t have believed me anyway.

I love night markets. I love night everything.

When you said it, it seemed rehearsed, when I said it I meant it. That I would actually live there.

Traveling always changes things.

No… You built her up and that’s on you.

Your experience matters.

Is this something you can live with?

It’s all very disorienting.

I’d be too frightened that your indifference to me would be plain to everyone… but me.

I don’t think I’m made to mother anything but myself

My fear is hooked so deep it would not doubt seep into my child

Or maybe I spent too much of my life

Being abused and taking the temperature of others

I need my life to be only mine.

I owe that to myself.

I am … not that much

Shrinking, if anything.

Like what you see? Consider tipping me a coffee! Here.

 

 

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