Cold (9)

I’ve thought about walking into the sea while I’ve been out these last mornings. Not in a dramatic way, but just to lose myself, to shuffle off this onus. I wouldn’t undress just walk in letting my coat and boots fill up with water. I wouldn’t feel the cold that way, at least not initially. Even so, how do you do it? How do you give up that will to live? Can you just stop breathing at will? The harbour is a melancholy place in these dark mornings and it resonates with the suicides that have happened there. I know of two, and there must be more. No one would stop you. No one would see. We used to get them to talk it through. Are you suicidal? we had to ask. Even the sex callers got the same. It usually made them hang up. If someone said yes we would ask them if they had the means to do it and what that was. It became vague then. Often it was some pills or ‘I don’t know’. Few had it planned. And I think death, death of a good, still strong body does take some planning.

I needed to cry. It’s been too much these last few days. That dying of the hopes of fuller life. Bless him and it’s happening to him. His eye won’t get better, she told him. He’s had a mini stroke of the eye. Gone. The sight has gone. How does that make you feel? I ask. He is calm. His other eye is compensating, he can still read, still see. Tomorrow they will tell him if he can still drive. Our life will shrink externally if he can’t. I will adapt better than him, I think.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.