An interview with MONA!

So, Mona, where were you born?

I was born in Georgia, in a tiny town just outside of Atlanta that makes Backwater, USA, seem like its hugely populated. I hated Fountain Springs. If I take my entire life into account, then the worst years took place there. I’ve lived in New York ever since I was 18. I escaped from Fountain Springs as soon as I’d graduated. This isn’t where I’d call home, although it’s where my two best friends, Marina and Eddie do; so, for the moment, NYC is where I lay my head and where I call home.

Where do you go and what do you when you’re angry?

If I’m honest, I rarely lose my temper. I’ve learnt to be laid back over the years and not let too much grate on my nerves. That stems from a point in my life where I could have let bitterness overtake me. I’m too smart to be wasting myself cleaning and I don’t want to offend any cleaners out there by saying that. But I wanted to be a doctor, but life and the huge cost of medical school nipped that in the bud.

I was a shoe-in for a scholarship, until my father blackened my name and that dream disintegrated into nothing as dreams had a tendency of doing where he was about.

Through it, I’ve discovered a love of poetry. I hope to one day release a book.

Is your refrigerator filled with moldy cheese and a few cans? What’s on your bedroom floor and nightstand?

Moldy? You have to be kidding me! You did read that I’m a cleaner, right? I’m pretty anal about those kinds of things. I won’t even stay in hotels, because I hate the idea of sharing a bed!

My living environment mirrors my Type-A personality. Neat, clean and everything in its proper place. I’ve a cheap rug on my bedroom floor and on my nightstand, an alarm clock. Neat as a pin doesn’t describe the amount of time I waste on making sure my home is clean.

What is one memory you have from your childhood kitchen? What smell do you associate with that and why has it stuck in your brain for so long?

*Mona grimaces*

I have very few happy memories of my childhood home. The most fun I had was at school; I loved learning and being out of the house. My father was a control freak and he abused my mother. Most of my memories of the kitchen actually center around her preparing something in a way he didn’t agree with and then him punishing her for that mistake.

There were a handful of times, when he had to work away on business.  My mother was always happier, when he wasn’t around. I doubt she’d ever have admitted that though. On those few occasions, we made blueberry pie. My father hated blueberries so she never made it until he went away. I have a sneaking suspicion that it was her favorite dessert. I can still smell that sugary sourness wafting through the house and the taste of the buttery crumble of the rich pastry.  My stained tongue and the purply-blue fingers from wiping them around the plate to catch each drop of intensely fruity syrup… good times.

It was one of the few occasions I remember being really happy as a child. To this day, even though they’re outside of my budget, I’ll always pop some into my grocery basket if I see them.

What do you do on a weekend? Work? Or play?

I work six days a week, but on Sundays, it’s my day to be me. I always have a bath, filled with bubbles and soak in it for hours. That and the books I devour while submerged are the few indulgences I have. Then, I drift around. Do some grocery shopping; hang out with Marina or Edwina or both. Have a coffee and a chat. Just be.

What’s your most treasured possession?

The photo album I have of my grandfather, when he served during the war. Even though there was a war going on, you can’t see that from his face. Or the people/soldiers around him.

I think, in a way, those images will always be imprinted on my brain. They taught me to toughen up. When life hands you sour cherries; you just have to make them sweet. And if, back then, people could find happiness during the world’s darkest moments, then how can I complain about my life?

Which living person do you most despise?

*Mona laughs*

Can’t you guess? Definitely, my father! I don’t even know if he’s dead or alive. Christ, what an admission. But he was a cruel taskmaster who used his religion to justify his appalling behavior. To be honest, I went past hating him a long time ago. But there’s no one else I’ve ever come close to despising.

What is your greatest regret?

My greatest regret is that I didn’t have a decent relationship with my mother. Maybe if I had, we’d still be in touch. Instead, I’m totally isolated save my friends. It isn’t a nice thought knowing that you’re completely alone in the world.

How would you like to die?

Christ! What a morbid question! As low as I’ve sunk during my lifetime, never once have I thought about dying. Let’s be more positive, eh? How would I like to live? Well, of course, happily ever after! 

What is your motto?

Just like my granddaddy; semper fi. Always loyal. That’s me. Through thick and thin.



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