It was in the middle of the road. At first I thought it was just a chair. You know those metal tubular chairs with a fabric seat circa 1950s. Church hall kind of chairs that you can stack. But this one  had a hole in its seat. A seat that wasn’t fabric but plastic. It was a commode. And the bucket and lid that fitted under the hole were also strewn across the road. Mercifully it was empty and clean. Who’d put it there? To be fair it isn’t a main road. It’s a square really, flanked on two sides by rows of once gorgeous, now a little dilapidated Nash houses. Was it a student prank? If so, where they’d got it from. Perhaps they were student nurses or doctors? Or was it an elderly person? A protest perhaps against the onset of old age, of infirmity and incontinence.

It’s from word commodious, surely. But which came first?

I walk past them almost every day and the name chimes in my head as I do. A name that has taken on mythic proportions. I haven’t see it written anywhere else. Just there on the two man-hole covers outside the Four Seasons hotel. Peter Savage. The name Peter Savage etched then raised in metal. It makes me think of Huxley’s A Brave New World

The sun shines. I think of our journey tomorrow. The apology I must make. I read and read. The reading is as important as the writing, I think. Both are taking me where I need to go.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.