What I remember then was Reenie, from when we were little. It was Reenie who’d done the bandaging, of scrapes and cuts and minor injuries […]. She’d scoop us up and sit us on the white enamel kitchen table, alongside the pie dough she was rolling out or chicken she was cutting up or the fish she was gutting, and give us a lump of brown sugar to get us to close our mouths. Tell me where it hurts, she’d say. Stop howling. Just calm down and show me where.

But some people can’t tell where it hurts. They can’t calm down. They can’t ever stop howling.

– Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin (2000)

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