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Numbers

We live in a rabbit warren of an estate, an old school that has been turned into flats. And finding particular flats isn’t easy. There is no logic to their numbering, at all. I don’t know how the postmen and women do it. It must be a bit like the London cabbies have to do when they learn the knowledge.

I sleep with my window open and I often hear our neighbours beneath me. Usually it is their TV (she is profoundly deaf and has it on very, very loud) or it is him coughing as he smokes at his open bedroom window. Last night I heard, on two separate occasions, a delivery driver ask him where a certain number flat was. I lay there in my semi-sleep trying to work out for myself where no 44 was. Our neighbour seemed to know but he has been here a long time. I saw him myself this morning on my return from my walk. He too is having his jab today.

I dreamt that I asked J for some of her old dresses. She seemed reluctant to part with them and when I asked her for advice about getting a job she suggested I become a lawyer.

I’ve begun writing. It’s a scary thing facing that white emptiness of creating. What if I find there is nothing there? Or that what is there is ordinary? He listens to my questions. Just let it be so, he says, in his wisdom.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.