Anxiety Dreams

I’m not sleeping well, though I do sleep. I can remember at least three dreams. Paul Weller has a song called 22 Dreams. Can you dream 22 dreams in one night? And remember them? In mine I was losing my hair, in another the Prom was jam-packed with holiday-makers sleeping in their cars or sitting outside them on the pavement and I couldn’t walk passed them and keep my required distance. In the final one I was visiting the gallery I’m do a project with and the director was making me coffee but the pan from which he was pouring still had a cloth in it, which was soaking up the liquid. It’s almost all gone, he said, not noticing the cloth. I said it was fine and I’d make my own. People were milling around and again not keeping their distance and then I was outside looking for him but he was nowhere to be seen. The landscape was different, I was now in a suburban setting, more like Guildford than North Wales.

They’re just anxiety dreams, he said at breakfast.

I saw no one this morning apart from an Eddie Stobart driver in his cab waiting for the night workers at either Tesco’s or Marks to let him into the loading bay. Oh, and the man on his computer. He had headphones on this morning. I wonder what he does. A mizzly, drizzly morning which wasn’t unpleasant to walk in.

Onward. Work. Licorice tea. Two days to go with my fast. A bit of hotchpotch but I believe I’m better for it. Though the hunger never really went away. Saved money though.

I listened to a consultant from Ilford on The World at One yesterday talking about the impact of the pandemic on him and his staff. They’ve been working 13 hour days. I was humbled and moved. He sounded a kind man, but a tired one. Two patients have come out of intensive care, he said. That is good. Bless them. All of them.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.