Letters Home, (Red) 2007 - detail (2)

We often see her on the Perygyl, on her maroon mobility scooter. She is generally parked right at the end staring out to sea. Her legs are water-logged, her hair blowing in the wind. She is large woman. Her bags are balanced on the scooter, a handbag in the basket at the front. When we pass her, as we did yesterday, she is writing postcards. She holds a wodge of them in her hand, using it to rest upon. Who is she writing to? Is she describing the scene? When the dolphins have been there she will say that she’s seen them. She doesn’t write then just stares out to sea, wrapt. Good afternoon, we say. Afternoon, she says. Though sometimes she ignores us. That’s OK, I say to him.

Sometimes it is a wrench to go out into the dark. I wrestle with my fear particularly when I see figures coming towards me. This morning I heard them but didn’t see them. Their voices were warm, they would be no threat. I move past, my senses sharpened. I walk down the middle of the road. I always do when I’m wary. It is away from the bushes, the leaf cover. I stride. Soldier, he called after me. On the Prom there is another figure. A student I think. He has headphones on, he doesn’t look at me. A bad sleeper perhaps. Lonely. I haven’t seen the smoker for a while. When it is dry there is often more people about. By the new bandstand two¬†men walk towards me. My stomach dips. There is something. Good morning, I say, trying to take control. They walk past me and then one of them shouts out, do you want sex?

No, thank you, I reply and keep walking.