For ?

I walked past the large student halls of residence known as the Alexandria this morning expecting to see taped up doors and windows. Nothing. A lone security van drove up and down the Prom but all was quiet. No pleas for HELP plastered on the windows, just one sign reading FOR ? which I could make head nor tail of. Is it in quarantine or is it a halls nearer the campus? I find myself giving people who look like students a wide berth and feel bad about it. Will it ever pass?

We sat in the car by the harbour in Aberaeron. It was a beautiful morning. A woman walked past in a tight-fitting see-through waterproof jacket and black leggings. She wore a pink baseball cap which her ponytail swung from the back of as she walked. A man passed her. She’d waved at someone and it must’ve been him. Very snazzy, he said, clearly referring to the top. Do you think so? she said, I just threw it on. If you did, he said, you’ve nailed it.

He was in his stockinged feet when we came into his driveway five minutes late. There was a hole in his socks. I do like him. Such a gentle man. And so obliging. His dyslexia goes unmentioned. Yesterday he wrote about social distasting. Most apt, I think. Thank you for bringing such kind people into my midst.

I am blessed, I said, as I returned to the car after walking over the rocks to look at the sea.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.