I wrote two more letters yesterday. I write them for myself mainly and to show and give love. I suspect that sometimes I bemuse and probably frustrate the receivers of them into feeling obliged to reply. They don’t have to. I am imposing the scripts upon them, the act is mine. Some do reply, others don’t sending an email or just not responding at all. I took a short walk this morning, having domestic work to do, carrying the letters in my hand to post. There is a post box opposite the Pelican Bakery. My heart sank as I saw the young man who sometimes waits beside it for his lift standing there. What are the modes of conduct for such situations when you don’t want to get too close? He was intent on his phone and didn’t see me at first. Excuse me, I said, can I just put some things in the….? I didn’t finish the sentence perplexed by the fact that I didn’t say letters? Oh, sorry, he said, in what sounded like a Mancunian accent. Where can he be going to work in his black uniform and supermarket carry bag in hand at 3.30 am? He moved out of the way and I let the letters fall through the mouth of the box. Some of the replies have surprised me, delighted sometimes, others have not. Such is the way. The risk is always there and I am needy of love. I know this.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.