I didn’t know him from Adam. In fact, I didn’t even catch a glimpse of him. But for some reason they were all calling his name. They were in a cluster, a straggly group outside Chicken Lickin’. A big boy was the first to start the calling, almost like a chant, or a child whining, clamouring for attention. Sion, Sion (or was it Sean?), he was saying. There were possibly four of five of them, girls and boys, a little drunk, trying to get Sion (or Sean’s) attention. How must it be to be so popular?

When I’m reading a book it is hard for me not to become utterly subsumed in it. I become it, the characters. There is often no dividing line between where I start and they end, so much so that I not only dream of them but looking in the mirror I think I see their face instead of mine. Eleanor Oliphant is my present obsession. Is it an obsession? I just empathise very deeply. And that Mummy of hers is so deliciously awful – wince-making. There is a vaguely autistic feel to E’s behaviour. She is outside of feeling. She watches, trying for clues as to how to respond. And yet her capacity for caring and being moved is huge. She is out of sync with the banal, the ordinary, the loved.

The phone woke me from my sleep. I shook when that automated voice began to tell me of the possibility of credit card fraud. It was too late. I’d gone so deeply under. I resolved it in the end, sitting on his bed (he’d heard me moving about and had come to investigate) calling the credit card call centre. Be patient, he said, as another automated voice told me to hold the line. All this, all this fuss for a wee brass ball. But it will be nice to resolve it.

The clouds are lifting and the blue is beginning to come through. I need lots of tea today.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.