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A Perfect Day

There were several painters’ vans outside a house on the road where I stood drawing the cut trees yesterday afternoon. From the house I could hear one of the decorators singing Lou Reed’s Perfect Day. Across the road a woman stood in the shade smoking and texting on her phone. The sun shone. I took off my hat and gloves to draw. Earlier I’d sat on a bench outside the Nat Lib and closing my eyes in the sun I’d listened to the drones on the heather by my feet. There had been 6 magpies in the field as I’d walked up.

I heard a scuffling sound from under a parked van on St David’s Road as I walked home from drawing the trees (they were like fists or hydra). I thought it was an injured bird and bent down to see what I could do. But there were two of them, brown and dusty, and they were fighting. I told them to stop and then, realising my stupidity, left them to it.

I dreamt I had a new job and that it was my first day. I made to walk up some narrow stairs to find my office or my boss but was stopped by a secretary who told me to take a seat in a kind of atrium. Was it a teaching establishment, for I saw a line of Japanese students queuing at a canteen? She offered me a coffee and I hesitated – was it real coffee, was it decaff, what about the milk? Then I woke to my alarm with the sentence -‘it’s all anti-Danish’ in my head.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.