Barefoot Girl

A barefoot girl slips out of a taxi on the hill behind Alexandra Hall. She starts to walk up the hill and then stops to look at her phone, its yellow light lighting up her face in the still dark. Switching off her phone, she turns on her heel and walks back down the hill.

There are a few people about, mostly youngsters, out drinking or unable to sleep. Two Americans, a girl and boy sit on a bench on the Prom, he is looking at his phone. I know where I am now, she says. I do too, he says, now.

Lip Lickin’ is open. A large girl stands in its doorway, I was like…she is saying.

Another silent day tomorrow. My work-head wants to say don’t go. But I know that it will do me good. I want the blankness, it refreshes me. My mind is in overdrive at the moment, remember this, remember that. An endless tranche of lists and to dos.

They called to say that there will be no more paper reviews for the foreseeable future. The papers don’t come early enough. I sink and trawl up all those fears of not having enough. He is irritable with the heat and is less than patient. I don’t blame him. He’s heard it all before. You’ve said all this before, he said. I know, I know. And what good is all that catastrophising? I just can’t see my way clear. So be it. Trust. That is the word, just trust all will work out. And then the phone rings….

I keep thinking about the absolute necessities. Water, food, shelter and warmth. Running out. The fear of running out, of death, I suppose. There is no certainty so why seek it? It is an illusion. We get so bogged down with periphery, with the things we think we need to do to show we exist, are immortal. None of it matters. Just the breathing in and out and the kindness. Simple really. Silence gives me that. If only my mind would allow it.

Tomorrow it will. The sun shines and I am glad.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.