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November 23, 2010
We were told to write the actual spoken words of someone we knew particularly well, and then make a story from this. UNFORTUNATELY, I took this rather literally and spent several hours literally rearranging some of the actual words into a story, which makes very little sense. Didn't read it out to the group because I was too ashamed so of course I am now going to confess it to the internet instead.
Interesting that the original monologue was based on my mother, but the story that emerged is about my grandmother. Or a grandmother, mine isn't a whale.
Grandma (my father’s mother) is a whale. She drifts blackly mad in her allergy tank, sometimes eating bits off wrecks and ill water. Grandma sits and listens and shuts our daydreams inside, she judges then checks the new ones, cleans them up, squeezes Jesus over them, feeds them to the animals and then we forget them, and she rings the bell for our dead house.
One night the cats threw one up, they meant not to say, but we found out. And we were free and held a jumble sale and made awful money, fat sausages of quids to hold off the pit. I planted blackberries and mustard absolutely everywhere, even in the skip. My mother threw them out in plastic bags, she doesn’t like mess. But we were free from the farm, the dogs, cats, and guinea pigs, we gave them chicken and sausages for a time, then pasta and potatoes, then salad until we ran out and had to feed them dreams again. And then we forgot.
Grandma cackled on the awful coast, took back her half of the house, tidied it up and took it down as if it were a paper sculpture we had thrown over her waters.