The Indian and the Pillowcase

I am discombobulated. First I tried to figure out how to clean the filter in our new dehumidifier and couldn’t find it. Then I broke a glass object that I’ve had since we lived in Cambridge. And now a pillow case that I was washing has just disappeared. It isn’t in the machine or caught up in the duvet or sheet. A mystery. It unsettles me. I am distrait. But I know that peace is within my grasp. I just need to shrug it off. All will be solved. Eventually.

The mist has cleared outside. And now the sun is shining. I am grateful for that, the relentless rain of yesterday did begin to weigh heavy upon me.

The morning was heavy with mist when I walked. I put on the light of my torch to walk down St David’s Road, made dark by the heavy trees that line it. I saw a white figure (reminiscent of the ghostly one of Anne Catherick in The Woman in White which we are currently watching). It was the Indian man I sometimes see in the early mornings. He wears the full Indian dress, white tunic and trousers and a turban. His beard is long and white. Today he had on a Western padded coat. I heard his steps. He walked fast. I said Good Morning but he didn’t reply. Perhaps he doesn’t speak English, perhaps he was deep in a mediational kind of a walk, perhaps he is ghost, a figment of my imagination. Though the other day I did think he nodded at my nod. He took me by surprise emerging through the mist like that. As the car did yesterday. I walk in the road, not sensible I know but usually no one is about. He walked in the road too.

Several dreams last night. The one I remember, or forced myself to remember involved a coach trip (perhaps inspired by listening to Agatha Christie’s Nemesis on the radio) with a group of elderly ladies. One was Norwegian was it Tante A? Anyway she remarked that my Norwegian was improving and I spoke to her in Norwegian by way of a reply. I remember thinking in my dream that is quite fluent. Or was it in my head? The veils are thin between the two in dreamland. We had arrived at stop-off point and I had to sign some kind of a treaty or referendum, the others had already done so. I had to go into this gift shop to do so. A man stood behind the counter. There were several shops to choose from. I wanted to hurry so I could rejoin the women. We’re going to the beach, said one of them, it’s cooler there. The rest has gone from me.

Enough. Tea then work. It calms me.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.