Adult Lounge

Bedroom Fragments (3) email

Yesterday we sat in the Adult Lounge. We escaped. We jumped into the car and drove off, off, up North. We had work to do first. Then off, off. Sunshine and showers. Hot sun and wet, wet rain. The landscape made magnificent. We went back to the same hotel on a hill. He ate pork and apple sandwiches. Crusts off and in triangles. I had a Greek Salad, no bread and no onions. The other lounge was busy. Too many people. A long weekend rush. So we went to the Adult Lounge. Only one set of sofas occupied. A daughter and husband and her elderly parents. She kept calling her father Daddy. She was in her sixties, he in his nineties. He winced as he lowered himself into his wheelchair. The daughter was tired and a little sharp. Bend your knee, bend it, she said.

I sat in the sun. Inside, behind glass. It was hot. Warmed through. Other people arrived. Three women, a mother and her two daughters. Glamorous,¬†articulate women. A couple entered and asked to share their sofas. They talked of caravans. He had a lovely voice, treacly. The daughters wanted some air. Their mother didn’t want to go. You go, she said, you go. I feel so helpless, she said to the couple, I used to be so independent. I am a liability now. I wanted them to go and have some time to themselves. She laughs. I listen to her tell them about her mother. She worked with Russian and German Jews in the war, she is saying. They were very nice people. She learnt their language really quickly. If someone lost a thimble she would get one for them. I say hello to her as we leave. I tell her that I loved her stories. She smiles, a little thrown. Your mother was a tailoress? I ask. Yes, she says, she made uniforms for the war. She is decked out in an outfit of pistachio green¬†with matching socks. A hint of red lipstick on her mouth. I say something inane. Smile. It is enough, just to make contact, to break through that wall of strangeness. Later he talks to a man on the putting green. The man talks so quietly. He can hardly hear. Was it Alfred Crook or Cook? A somnolent place. Gentle. I wanted to stay. To sleep, to snooze my way out of this anxiousness. What is it? I don’t know. Will I be myself again soon? Perhaps. Perhaps never.

I watch the crows. One cast awry by the wind. Flotsam of the sky.

This morning in the dark there was a robin. Flitting. Flitting.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.