Empty Room

I’m discombobulated. My laptop still hasn’t been fixed and the alternative of having it’s precious memory, my memory, swiped clean appalls me. It would be like a lobotomy. All that history. It spent a night away from me (is this how people feel about their phones?) and I longed to bring it home. He went for it early this morning, bless him my absolute love. It was away and I couldn’t write. I suppose I could’ve written it by hand but I’m used to this way, used to watching the words play out before me. And my other writing, I need the daily purge now. So I sewed instead and got little solace though the listening proved inspirational, namely a radio adaptation of Lahr’s biography of Tennessee Williams. I remember doing some ideas for one of his plays at Wimbledon, I think it was the ‘Milk Train’, marvellous, even to a very naïve eighteen-year-old. Dare I admit to an affiliation with writers these days, it is presumptive?  I see my failings all to clearly but I am trying. That is all I can do. On Williams’ writing, Lahr writes: ‘His mess was (now) outside him’. And when he had writer’s block in Italy, ‘he had fallen under the moon of pause.’ Isn’t that stunning? But no, writing isn’t meant to be beautiful. I try to ape Camus. Just tell the story, simply. I’m rambling. Too much tea and a longing to do this.

The empty room in the flat opposite was still lit. Someone had forgotten to switch off the light, clearly. An empty room and the emptiness of my desk this morning. The room offers possibilities the desk, as it is, none. I love the clarity of empty rooms. I could dance in there.

The rain was torrential this morning. Downpipes gushed water, rattling with the force of it. A coastguard boat was out at sea, its green light a beacon of something like hope. A broken umbrella left on the street. The smell of someone’s perfume, a cloud of it, hanging as I walk through it. A trace a memory of a presence.

The smell of him was too much. A wall of garlic. He’s a kind man. He talks fast, a rushing of stuff. We both were overwhelmed by it. He couldn’t mend it. I am stressed. I cannot see how to solve it. We were both wearied by it yesterday. Can’t you support me in this? I asked. He was tired, and worried about offending him. This morning he is charged. I will sort it, he says. Leave it to me. Gladly, my love. Gladly.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.