Cold (8)

Did I ask for this? For this falling away of all that seems steady and sure? Possibly, deep down I needed this stopping for all that it alarms me and I keep trying to move. My body has gone rigid, I walk with my buttocks clenched and my teeth gritted. His eye has not cleared. The operation will have to happen. He is calm. As indeed am I. I just struggle with the not knowing. Reduce it down. Reduce expectations. Shall I cancel this, cancel that? Or continue in hope? Waiting for some speck, chink of light. We are getting through. I think of people under siege, and how it must be to be like this always, no certainty, a constant shifting of quicksand. He makes me laugh with his one good eye closed and his bad eye open wide like the bloke who used to host The Stars at Night. Drawings continue to comfort. Perhaps I should just spend the rest of my life working on my drawing. Hang the rest. We are car-less, he cannot drive one-eyed, obviously. So its a hobbly hour’s walk to the supermarket for me while he takes a taxi to the eye clinic. They will have to operate the doctor said. It’s vascular, I’m afraid, he told him. He knows him of course. A nice man it seems, I’ve seen them chatting in the Café Nero queue a couple of mornings. We didn’t want it but it seems we have to acquiesce. They do it every day, the doc said. Of course. Of course they do. But to cut him. Him. I am undone.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.