Meet Gina Monjoy, pole dancer

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Photo: Alan McCluskey

Yesterday I attended a workshop with MJ Homes in Pully, organised by Joy Manne. The theme? Uncertainty in writing, both that of the writer but also that of the writing itself. What is this between space in which all is possible? I hesitate, frightened by the void and the dark and the silence, then I jump…

Met an old lady at the workshop. Gina Monjoy was her name. A zany pole dancer, cum script writer, who sported wild colours and spoke too loud. I wouldn’t be surprised if she wasn’t a little deaf. Not the sort of thing you could tell her, though. She must have been at least eighty-five. All wrinkles she was and preoccupied with loosing her mind, or so she said, often. You only had to hear what she wrote to wonder if she might be right. Anyway, here’s an extract she scribbled on a piece of paper that I found screwed up in a corner under a desk.

John was a tall man with hairy legs and knobbly knees that knocked together when he climbed the stairs which he did rarely because with age his legs had gone so stiff he could barely quit his wheelchair to pee or to pray and anyway praying was not his thing, unless you included preying on his neighbour’s wife who was a most beautiful specimen of sun-kissed tropical fruit that would dribble down his chin if he bit into it which in turn recalled his youth before the accident, but after the operation, at a period when he spent less time thinking about being someone else, even if the idea had begun to obsess him, despite efforts of two psychiatrists that cost him a fortune and a lot of medication which ruined his liver and might have explained why he had the accident, not that the police would have agreed, but then they agreed only with themselves, blustering away, swearing at him when all he needed was a hug

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