A Sunday morning, 1987
It’s the smell of incense that always takes me back.
That smoky, burnt odour in my nostrils every Sunday morning sent my body into overdrive. The priest carried the large silver canister on a chain, swinging it back and forth, grey fumes floating out in a thin haze around us.
Sweat popped on my skin, small beads appearing on my top lip, my forehead, the palms of my hands. Struggling to hold onto the candle, I walked down the central aisle. Rivulets of moisture ran down my spine, pooling under my tunic right where the elastic waistband of my shorts dug into the small of my back.
I was only ten years old.