Check-out Girl

She is always so friendly, they all are, even on a Monday morning. Her hair used to be long and purple. A pretty girl. Now her hair is green and short. And she has a lovely voice. I think it is Welsh, but soft with a lyrical timbre. A bright girl, clearly. She has rings everywhere, in her nose and ears. She handles our goods with such care and method, she never seems bored or discontented and it can’t be much fun sitting there all day listening to the beep of the sensor reading the barcodes. I always feel a little better for having seen her. The other day she was still waving at us as we sailed down the escalator.

I was assailed by anxiety yesterday, I couldn’t work out why. Something had crept in and I couldn’t shake it off. Do you want to see someone? he asked. Perhaps do CBT? I don’t know. I know he wants to help and I’m not averse to seekingĀ support but it opens it all up again. And sometimes it is too much, particularly as I struggle to separate it all out. Writing helps. It does.

It’s milder today. The air was almost balmy as I walked. The peep peep of oystercatchers and the sharp keening of young gulls echoed across the water and the town. We saw a fledgling robin as we walked to the car to do our shopping, it’s feathers still mainly down, it hopped rather than flew. The bakery smells were sublime. Sometimes it has to be enough.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.