Ladies & Gentlemen

Ladies and Gentlemen, the barman of The Angel is calling out, I’m shutting the bar. It is 3.55 am. I am walking past the pub’s open door. The yellow light of its interior is spilling out onto the pavement. It is virtually empty. Just a few voices. Lip Licking is shut, so it Pizza Lush. No taxis either. Do they know when the kids will be out? Or is Thursday night traditionally quiet. No wind this morning. The sea just lapping. Colder though. The Times did threaten frost. No mist though. The sky was clear. All the stars were out. I watched them from the Perygyl. Standing still for a moment. One seemed to be moving. Not falling but sliding across the sky. A plane’s tail light perhaps. I think of my family. All over the place. Parts of me, dislocated. London, Yorkshire, Copenhagen and now one on the way to Greece. And another in Cornwall. Separate. Known yet not known. Unfamiliar. I cannot know how she lives. I want to. I want to be a part of her. Detach. I shall practice detachment. I often think of the tale of the monk. He was given her, then she was taken away. He accepted it all. Maybe it is more about acceptance than detachment. Detachment feels like not caring. But the caring isn’t straight forward either. It’s because I care, she’d say. Call me, I want to know. I can’t sleep if you don’t. It felt heavy, a burden. Her caring became my burden. Do I want that for her? I don’t know. I don’t know what to do for the best. I shall bide my time. Wait for the wisdom.

I felt better yesterday. My back lost its tightness for a while. Such a relief. What was it? What made the change? Ideas. I worked with ideas, I let them come and I am excited by them. I will try the technical stuff – go into my fear of it. Make it mine. I watch some how to videos on YouTube. Funny. He kept sneezing. And then the one about Jesus. Made me laugh. Out loud, at work. The sleepy man came in again to talk about flooding in Texas. Forty inches of rain. Poor loves. To lose everything. A deluge. Such extremes. Has it always been so? Feels like a punishment. Biblical in proportions. No. Never. It’s just nature. Doing her thing. It isn’t personal. Look at the beauty of her.

I am more at ease in the dark. I accept it. Let it enfold me. I stand by the hydrangeas in the Castle Park, watching as the breeze jostles them. Silence. I wait for the silence. Never completely so. There is a generator hum, an oystercatcher calling, and the rustle of the petals. Still.

My knees are healing. I am still a little stiff. Soon to be fifty-five. I stride forth wanting to be strong. Someone called out to me on Great Darkgate St. No idea what he said. I smile.

Soldier striding. The Pelican Bakery’s door was propped open it’s warm smell of life guiding me home.


By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.