Spider-Man Umbrella

It was lying in a municipal flowerbed just beyond the station. A child’s umbrella, a merchandised Spider-Man one. It was opened but flat. Had it broken, been blown inside out by the wind? Had the child dropped it and someone had picked it up and put it in the flowerbed? Had it been loved? Rather odd to have an umbrella in Spider-Man’s colours. I mean, would that particular super-hero have needed an umbrella. I never really get the merchandise thing. We didn’t have much of it when I was a child, or was it just that my mother wouldn’t have bought ‘plastic rubbish’. Were those her words, or am I just imagining them? I’m sure I would’ve loved a Snow White dress, or a Cinderella crown but I suspect I would’ve seen the shoddiness of the imitation pretty early on and felt swindled. For me the magic always belonged inside the film, inside the cinema. Though when I watched them later one with her, the magic had gone. I was transported no longer. Little does that for me know. Except perhaps London.

We would’ve still be there. Our last full day there today. I mourn its loss. You have it to look forward to, he says. I know. And I need to let it go but a part of me is getting on that train to Covent Garden or Leicester Square and walking to Monmouth Street for a coffee. Even in the rain there is so much joy to be had.

A short one today. We are off to Newtown to review a show.

She told us never to use clichés. I know. But sometimes that is all there is. The blossom petals strewn across the pavement by the wind look like confetti. What else can I say? They do. The mess of them. Pink spots of light papery-ness, lifted by the wind.

I made a start. You’ve made a start, he said. And I have. Drawings from twenty, almost thirty years ago torn up. All that decision-making. But I am lighter for it. I wonder if these constant dreams of trying to find a suitable restaurant are linked to this. I am seeking something that will nourish me. Something foreign, unfamiliar.

She just thanked me for the copy. That’s all. No other comment. I have to get used to it. If it is wrong they will let you know, as he did. Otherwise just be grateful it has passed muster. It is enough.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.