The Snake Room

Yesterday was hard. It threw me. I wasn’t expecting it. I was like a beetle thrown onto its back, upended and unable to right itself. He tried to help. He was tireless in his bolstering. What a love. I woke with it but it’s easing. I begin with forgiving the trespasser. She knows not what she does. If I understand her I can move forward and continue working. Which, after all, is all that matters. And there are plenty who respect and care for me. Those who know me. And I just have to keep doing. That’s all.

A man sat beside a lit bonfire on North Beach, his form a shadow against the flames. Two lads walked over, one came on a bike and both jumped down onto the pebbles to join him. The smoke in the air made it smell like autumn.

I walked through the Castle Park and past The Angel. There was a light on in the shop on the corner that used to be a barbers that he and his cronies used to go to. The barber was Turkish. He’s gone back home. The new shop is called The Snake Room. It’s hard to say what its goods are to be. There are a few printed T-shirts in the window and it looks a bit grungy. Two men sat at a table inside. They were mountainous men with bald heads. On the table were a mass of bottles and glasses. Had they been partying? And in the full view of the town? The men looked sleepy, groggy though they were still upright.

A streak of white, a cat presumably, ran across my path as I walked up the hill towards home. And a sudden gust of very warm air hit me. It was strange. Was it the rush of all the flats on the estate having their heating coming on at once? Who knows?

Tea now and coffee for him and then work. As I always say, onward.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.