Staying Put

I wanted to knock on their door and say thank you. I was glorious, all that light in the dark, dark. A simple thing. A necklace of lights, blue-white lights strung around a tree in their front garden. But it lifted me as I stepped out into my morning walk. I needed it. That injection of joy. Did they leave them lit by mistake, as the council seem to be doing with a rogue Christmas decoration or two, or is it a gift, a gift to us dark-time walkers?

I needed it. She had forgotten, forgotten that I was coming and has booked out her room with Airbnb. I do understand, it is how she supplements her income, but I’d arranged to come and see her months ago. Is it just carelessness? And if so, does that make it less hurtful? She didn’t say sorry, didn’t seem to think it warranted it. Do I know longer know her, or have we both changed? Shall I cut those cords, let her be? Let it be? I want to forgive and I will, soon.

So I am staying put. No trip to the smoke to see her and the lights. I am sad. I wanted to see her to drink tea and talk. And I sort of wanted to be on the move again. It is easier than staying put, staying still. I can be in motion, not here and not there. But it isn’t going to happen. The ticket will lie unused in my drawer. Instead I shall stay put and decorate our home. Just a little. Not too much.

She was good. A kind voice. She really listened to me. I felt lifted.

A jeep on the road behind Alexandra Hall with its door left open. What should I do? Close it? I don’t like to interfere with the life I encounter as I walk. I am ghostly, not quite physical. It doesn’t feel right and yet, should I have at least shut it? How could someone forget?

And then that boy/student looking like Harry Potter wearing pyjamas and a dressing gown and walking in the rain on the Prom with his earphones on.

I described it as gold. Where did that come from? And it is warm. That is you, she said. That is you. Gold.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.