Dartmouth Crab Company

I want to escape. I want to sit in front of a real fire with a huge pot of tea with my shoes off and my legs up on the arm of great big sloppy armchair. Can I do this please? Somewhere else. To be somewhere else where nothing is expected of me but to be and to exist and to observe.

I apologise to him. I am lucky and I am, in the main, content. But I miss the sitting in cafes and the people-watching and that just-passing-the-time-of-day sort of piffle. I do miss this.

My dreams come thick and fast. In the first there was a big white fluffy cat, no doubt inspired by my hearing our neighbour calling one of the Krays (her two felines) under my window before I dropped off. Then there was the cafe I was working in where there wasn’t enough food to satisfy the desires of the constant stream of customers and where the chef (a dead spit of my line manager at work) was not at all concerned. There was so much chatter and people sitting too near at tables. Then there was the baby. It was mine. I wrapped it in blankets and furs. And it spoke to me even though it was only months old. I don’t belong anywhere, it said. You belong to me, I said and held it close.

The Dartmouth Crab Company lorry was parked up at the harbour this morning. I thought that the fishing was ended for this year. Clearly not. Though I rarely see the fishing boats coming in or going out these days. I tried to pay attention and watched as a single leaf floated down from a tree on Llanbadarn Road and then noticed a cobweb, delicate and perfect, heavy with rain just under a light by the student accomodation on Northgate Terrace. They had turned off the Christmas tree lights in Sophie’s Cafe. And there was no smell of bread from the Pelican Bakery. Yesterday it smelt of fruit loaf.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.