Saturday, October 08, 2005


(Part of my memory exercise...)

When we packed up to leave Carlton, Sydney, I had three dolls. Dannygirl was too hard to cuddle. Flopsy was a baby doll with a cloth body and Topsy was as black as liquorice. I had bitten most of Topsy's fingers off. It was the slight resistance followed by the delicious yielding between my teeth that made me do it then, almost before i knew it, there'd be a slight extra give and the finger would be in my mouth and Topsy would be regarding me with horror. I knew that no number of loving lullabies sung to her, no amount of endearments offered when I tucked her up in my bed or the little basinette she shared with Flopsy, could make up for the loss of a finger. I tried to stop. I'd think, this time I'll just hold her finger between my teeth, that's all. I won't bite down. I promise I won't bite down. That would work sometimes but when I packed Topsy into the box to be taken to Brisbane, she was down to three fingers and two thumbs.

Flopsy wasn't entrusted to a box and a removal van. She came with me, beautifully dressed for the journey, in her own little carry basket. Flopsy rested her head comfortably in the crook of my arm, just as I knew a real baby would. She had weird hair that I had once brushed - it was thicker than any baby's hair, thicker than my hair, and brushing it had just made it stick out at odder angles from her head. I kept it hidden under a little knitted bonnet. She always had her arms up, as though something had caught her by surprise. Even when she slept - and as soon as you laid her down, her eyelids with their long lashes covered her blue eyes - her arms were still thrown up as though dream after dream caused her to startle silently.


jo said...

Great blog Catherine.
I had a quick go at the early memories and was amazed at how clear the recollection of smells is.

Cattyrox said...

Hi Jo,
Have you ever been somewhere and instantly and intimately known the smell of the place and it is exactly that bedroom in Taylor Street, Toowoomba and you can suddenly see the lino on the floor?
Or been really peeved that you can't identify a particularly smell that is a particular place or time? That happens to me all the time.

Helen said...

I'm not trusting you if you come back as a pit bull terrier.