Flip Flop

Newsprint Humanity (detail 1) 2009 (small)Pleasure, 2010 (detail) (small)

Town was teeming with young people this morning. I walked out earlier than usual, it was not yet 4.00am. They lolled about on benches, some barefoot, none with coats. It was warmer than of late. A wind but southerly, not bitter. I strode along the Prom towards the Harbour. Pier Pressure was still heaving. The air smelt of fried chicken, stale beer, cigarettes. There was laughter and loud screeching voices. A couple leaned into each other on a bench. Two girls sat on a step, both in tight shorts, the thighs all flesh. Another couple walked towards me. Her hair was piled high and she teetered in heels. She carried a pizza box in her hand. Do you love me yet? she asked her companion. Yeh, he said, offhandedly then with stress, OBVIOUSLY. She linked hands with him. He leant away. She giggled as they walked, clearly satisfied with his answer.

Yesterday, was the same. Busy. A single red flip flop lay in the road outside the nightclub. Two girls sat on the ground, leaning against the clapperboard exterior of the club. Several boys hung around the entrance talking to the bouncers. Cath, one of them shouted to the seated girls, you a’right? There was an ambulance opposite the Belle Vue Hotel. It was like a dumb play. No one spoke as a tiny girl was led towards the car. The siren was still. All was calm.

The moon was a half. Large, resplendent. Half light. The owl hooted. Later the birds. A cacophony. Dawn comes up as I approach home these days. A relief. A joy. That blue.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.