I saw her legs first. You couldn’t miss them, encased as they were in tight black and white striped leggings. Then there were her boots. Mauve, high-laced Doc Martens. Over her leggings she wore a figure-hugging black skirt and on top of that a short, fake-fur beige jacket. She was standing in front of one of the terrace houses on South Road leaning over under the light of street lamp rooting through her handbag that she’d rested on a window sill. I recognised the nose jewellery. An Indian style loop of jangly silver things, bells and filigree. And then there was the unmistakable streaked hair (on Monday it was a series of stripes of blue, black and purple) and the thick black kohl drawn around her eyes. She looked amazing. Unmissable. The Tesco checkout-girl, aka fire-eater. She didn’t look up as I passed. And I didn’t say hello. It was out of context and inappropriate. Who wants to be reminded of their day job when out on the town, dressed-to-kill? I like her. She has such a ‘sunny disposition’. And I love the dressing-up. I used to do it all those years ago. She isn’t a beautiful girl but she is tall, graceful and very, very striking. Good for her.

I got through yesterday. And it was alright. Today I shall write. Do my thousand words and then put it away. I need to keep it alive, though I’ve no idea where it is going. Don’t plan, he advises. See what happens, what comes out. I don’t mind being in the writing once I’ve begun, it’s the beginning. Ach! Isn’t it always the way? And nothing is happening. No one is replying. The world has gone to sleep. Dormant. So be it. I shall see what comes forth into this emptiness.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.