Mona.

No, not the Craig McLachlin hit of 1990 but my Nana.

I always had a lingering sense of dread about visiting her as a little girl.
Maybe it was the Alsatian she kept that always had an erection, or maybe it was the plastic faces of Santa that decorated her house all year round.
Maybe it was the embarrassing compulsion I had to undress all the toys in the spare room that I was consistently told off by her for.
It could even have been the collection of wishbones from chicken carcasses hanging on a nail by the kitchen sink that she dried out for special occasions.
There might have been a smell too, it’s difficult to recall entirely as I’ve clearly blocked some stuff out. What I haven’t managed to erase from my memory is my first ever true feelings of outrage which were sadly directed at my weird, old, Nana.

I was skipping in her driveway when I faltered and skinned the full length of both my shins, in one of those rock and roll slides across a stage but on cemented gravel with a different kind of screaming. Bleeding, hysterical seven year old Emily screaming.
I was bundled inside and had the gravel picked out of shredded shins.
Then the wounds were disinfected with pine-o-cleen. That’s right, PINE-O-CLEEN. Let’s not even begin on the spelling of the product. PINE-O-CLEEN IS FOR FLOORS AND SOMETIMES TOILETS. Not human flesh.

“Emily, do you want to go and have a visit with your Nana?”
“No. No, I fucking don’t.”

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