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Scissors in Shoes

We went to sit out after a later supper. We were both tired. He’d wanted to cut his fingernails out and had got out his scissors and clippers in readiness. Walking to where we sit, he’d complained of his left foot hurting. I need to explain a little. He has neuropathy which means that he doesn’t really sense things properly through or on his feet. These are my walking shoes, he said, and they feel really gravelly. I need to explain something else. He has a little bit of a thing about shoes (perhaps I do too), though these days he leans more towards comfort than fashion. Anyway, he’d recently got some new ones and had worn them earlier. Perhaps it’s a result of having worn your new ones too soon, I said. Well, we eventually sat and I offered to look at his foot. He was right. It did look sore and there were strange wheals on it. Two circular ones and one long straight one. Having taken off his shoe he put his hand in it and pulled out his scissors. He’d walked with his scissors in his shoes. I’d put them there to remember them, he said.

While I waited she told me about her son’s wedding that was supposed to be in Sorrento but had been moved to Bridgnorth. I’m not sure how we got on to talking about noisy eaters. I can’t stand them, she said. Oh, yes, she’d been telling me about seeing patients in an institution in Carmarthen and how she never ate with them. She makes me feel a little grey. I try to combat it, but she is a powerful persona and colours things.

Oh, those floods in the low countries. Poor loves. May there be some light for them. There was a light this morning far out to sea, a boat possibly.

I scrabbled around and he was a saint. But it’s OK. I can rest now.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.