Instead of conversing with friends, self-described introvert Kathy Brennan spent the majority of a recent dinner party contemplating the physics of a scented candle in the middle of the table.
“Everyone’s talking about all these things I didn’t know about, but I’m all like, ‘Wow, how do candles work?’” explains Brennan, from a corner of her living room. “I’m having fun.”
As she poked her salmon fillet with a fork and stared vacantly into the center of the room, Brennan found herself inundated with questions about the centerpiece. “Does it just evaporate, or … ?” She wondered silently, having not spoken to anyone for over an hour. She recalled learning in school—or was it summer camp?—about how candles are made, but could not for the life of her remember what happens to candle wax when it burns.
“Are we, like, breathing it in right now?” and “Is it toxic?” are other questions that came to mind while a fellow dinner guest was attempting to include her in the table’s conversation. Brennan briefly responded after being asked about her recent trip to St. Bart’s, but she kept her gaze fixed on the flickering wick of the Country Apple scented Yankee Candle.
“Yeah, yeah, I went last year…” Brennan was said to have muttered to the host while internally struggling with questions about the physical properties of solids and liquids or whether elements or compounds are converted into other things when they burn. She was unable to hear a follow-up question as she mouthed the words, “Where the fuck does it go?” while shaking her head in disbelief.
Brennan, who has never done drugs except for that one time she stood too close to a drum circle at Coachella, was transfixed on the 22-ounce jar candle for a period of no less than 90 minutes. During that time, entrees were eaten, careers were discussed and two co-workers flirted with her without her realizing it.
As of press time, Brennan was seen slowly lifting the candle off the table and slipping it into her bag for further analysis.