Slyly sneaking over pre-laid cotton based warmth bringers. It would wait. For eyes to start flickering in lucid dreams. Silently stalking and sniffing out any bare skin its fibers could irritate. The most disgusting blend of mohair weaved within the 19th century; nothing short of a nightmare..
Going to Nana’s house was the best; I loved it very much. Always crafting about or finding snails in the back yard. I loved lightly poking the snail eyes, separately. Watching them curl down and hide, separately, 1-2-3, a cautious unravel like a crumpled straw, and pop. The tiniest speck of a pupil, both separately and at different times, jumped right back to rest in its clear socket. Of course watching such inspirational phenomena; ApplePine cordial, the flowing beverage of choice in Nana’s fridge, was sipped frantically from plastic cups with animal handles and of course a curly straw. The perfect snail watching drink. Next to where the cups were kept, stood the freezer. And buried within its chest, another food item Nana always stocked. Neapolitan ice-cream. Nana would always skip the strawberry strip for me. As fake strawberry or banana in sweets did nothing but make me nauseas. Taste buds could never understand the lies between name and taste; they never matched. One thing that did always seem to match, though, were the bikkies Aka biscuits.
Why do all Nana’s have a biscuit jar? Always full. Just out of reach of children. Perhaps they are more bribe than biscuit.
Sometimes, a day at nana’s turned sleepover. Firstly adrenaline would rise. Then joy and excitement, coupled with internal voices voicing ‘oh yay, giggle-giggle, I’m not used to this, this seems fun.’ Alongside firmly crossed legs, holding in any wee that might seem to have surfaced. After that; complete terror. Terror not even one of my favorite clock-bikkies could fix. Terror arose to many things. Unusual sounds, one. Which were always bountiful at night, especially in an unfamiliar setting. Having such a vivid imagination proved to be extremely traumatic at times. Most nights I stayed awake for hours, trying to think about how yummy breakfast will be in the morning. But the most terrifying of all things a night on Nana’s St involved was Itchy Blanket.
It was only a week ago that this hideous creation entered into a conversation between one of my cousins and I. We giggled about stories from our Nana’s house visits, until I decided to abruptly name drop the hairy beast.
“Remember Itchy Blanket,” I said
Instantly Cassandra became overwhelmed with descriptive details of it’s mustard/brown colourings and patchwork patterning. Fumbling through faint memories. The patient breed of blanket; silently waiting for a moment to pounce on overheated limbs. The way it molested your leg in the night. ‘Itch‘ a complete understatement. Itchy Blanket was never short of completely sanding back an upper lip like wood being prepped for varnish, or causing a leg rash so severe blanket-blaming would be out of the question. But one thing that completely had us stumped was we had exactly the same name for it. Alongside our matching memories of blanket wounds; both of which we were ready to let go of.
I tried my very best to source an image of this blanket as it does not presently exist anymore, here, within this family. Which provides me with much relief. It wouldn’t come as a shock to me, though, if Itchy Blanket were lurking in dark cupboards at some other unfortunate humans residence. Knowing full-well my nana never threw anything out, things were always given away. I’m sure it’s waiting patiently; just in time for nights to cool and for winter to set-in. A time when one reaches for that ‘extra-blanket’. My prayers are with you.