The Storyteller

She makes me feel safe. I think it is the chat and the world that she brings forth as she talks, one that is so unlike my own. I think she talks to hide her discomfort. She is a clearly a sensitive soul, a worrier. Life frightens her. So she talks to keep it at bay and to off load. She is incautious, much more so than I. She talks about her father, her partner, her dog and her trips out in their camper van. I like her. He did too. It’s the details that I love and I hurry to scribble them down so that they aren’t lost. I ask about her father, recently widowed, and about what he does with himself all day. ‘I know what he’ll be doing right now,’ she says, ‘he’ll be standing with his back up against the radiator in the kitchen and watching Quest.’ He phones me after his appointment to ‘check in’. I knew that he’d either know her or her family. Small towns, you see. And he did. I prefer not knowing. I like the mystery and the detachment. Let him make connections. I just want to observe and feel compassion (at a distance). Bless her.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.