different sort of opening
So how much did your Mum and Dad love you, Tasha, in those early days?
If I’m honest, I can’t remember all that much love. Fear, certainly; overpowering fear that your squashy head would stove in beneath a careless relative’s fingers, fear that one of us would toss you out of a second-floor window on any of the particularly tough nights (I watched your mother closely, Tasha; she wasn’t to be trusted). There was fear that you’d begin, in later years, to join the wrong crowd, and we became sick with worry as we imagined you morphing into one of the smoking ten-year-olds who used to hang out on Tavistock Road, and the upshot of that fear always came within a couple of seconds- what if she has no crowd at all?
In time we found a kind of desperate, obsessive love for our fears themselves, because they were the only method we had of expressing love for such a fragile object. Keep her off the hot surface. Keep her off the cold surface. And it was incredibly infuriating that while we scuttled around, rescuing you from certain death a thousand times upon a thousand, you’d just lie there, as if quite careless to the fatal possibilities yawning wide all around you.