Other Lights (on)

It is a comfort when it’s still dark to see lights on in the other flats around the quad. This morning the one directly across from us was ablaze. I could see the woman who lives there with the man with the long blonde hair that works at the Film and TV department of the University (the one he says has got ‘porky’) working at two laptops. She was still hard at it when I got back from my walk at 4.30 am. Sometimes the lad who works at the bike shop in town and who is going out with the colonic nurse has his lights on, which I can see from my studio. And the Americans, who I always think of as Canadians, they too have their bedroom lights on early. I feel a strange connection with these early birds or night owls. We breathe the same air.

The sea was gently lapping this morning, its sound disturbed only momentarily by a parked car pumping out music. And I caught a blackbird perched on a fence singing its heart out, its whole body swelling and pulsing out its song. Glorious.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.