Genius

Ellen Bell: Photography by Simon Cook 01736 360041

It’s a piece of piss, isn’t it? a man is shouting from the doorway of his flat across the road to a man standing outside Saparito’s Café. They hate it with a passion, he continues, kicking off his tartan slippers and bending down to push his feet into white trainers. He has on a navy blue cardigan over grey tracksuit bottoms.

I heard an owl as I walked this morning. The sound it made wasn’t a twit-ter-woo but more like a wow wow. It echoed through the cloudless dark. As I walked back up St Davids Road the streetlights came on. Five o’clock, I murmured to myself. As clockwork.

Every Monday night we go for an Indian, early. We are usually the first one’s there. Wellington’s bought a Burton suit, Melvyn told us. For the wedding. It’s bright blue. Which wedding? he asked, not his? No, no, said Melvyn. It’s his cousin’s. It’s wedding season in Goa. We saw the Polish guy, this afternoon on the Prom, he told Melvyn. You know, the one who helps out here. Oh, yes, Genius. Genius? he says, laughing. No, no, says Melvyn, I thought it was a nickname too. But no it’s his real name, Genius. We ask him what he does on his day off. What’s to do? replies Melvyn, I go on the phone to my wife, skype my family that’s all. He grins, I’ll go and get your starters.

The boss’s name is Mohammed but they all call him John. Sometimes he is in the kitchen peeling the potatoes.

I caught the end of a radio play this morning as I prepared breakfast. It was about a German couple during the Second World War who left anonymous postcards in public spaces that questioned Hilter’s authority. We must do our bit, the man says to his wife, even if we have to lose our lives doing it.

I dreamt that a large chunk of the ceiling fell in. Later there was a fish high up by where the ceiling had been. I asked him to get it down for me. Is it still alive?

I’ve come to see if there is any mackerel said Genius on the Perygyl.

The sun shone yesterday and warmed my skin.

Any sign of Doris? he asked