dried flower from man to man book

He handed me the bag, a broad smile on his face. Damsons. You got me damsons. A hankering. A hankering for that rich, purple bitterness. Satisfied.

I’m busy. There is much to do. Not much time to write this. I miss it. It is playful. A gentle inward-looking playfulness, as well as an archive of things, of things I’ve seen, heard and thought of. I will read it back but for the moment I just need to get it down, captured, preserved.

Voices on the promenade as I sit there, eyes closed against the sun. A sound piece. The warm fug of others’ voices, not understanding, just basking in the murmuring.

I bought stocks and sunflowers. The stocks lasted four days, it was enough. The warm, sticky, headiness of their perfume filling our home. I drink it in.

An upright piano on the beach.

The boy baker standing outside the shop in the dark, texting.

Down by the harbour, a car drives off as I approach.

Two boys, one shirtless, throwing down their spliffs and tumbling into the B&B, noisy at 3 am. The acrid smell stinging my nostrils.

A girl pushing a pushchair on Great Darkgate St.. The pram is veering all over the pavement, her other hand holds a mobile. She is shouting. What I need is a really good fuck, she shouts. I’ll be home soon. Love you. She puts the phone in her pocket, turning her attention to the pushchair. It is empty save for a large shopping back. Come on, Baba, she says, steering it forward towards Penglais Hill.

Last week. A memory. Walking towards the Castle. 3.50 am. A line of people, of bodies, semi-visible in the lamp lit gloom. A curve of bodies, walking as one. A family. Different heights. A family. Young children in high vis jackets, white ankle socks and trainers. An Orthodox Jewish family. Five children and two parents. Walking. Walking the Prom at 3.50 am in the morning. I incline my head. A brief nod to the father. He repeats the gesture.

It is a magical time. Today, the wind, blowing through my tiredness. I fall into it, against it, submitting to its will. So tired. A long journey North, to sit with a friend. Good, it was good. Worth the non-sleeping night, driving, driving.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.