Warm Rubber

I saw its lights before I saw it. Another huge Eddie Stobart lorry waiting. But this time it was outside the gates of Tesco’s and M&S’s shared loading bay, parked up alongside the flats on Mill Street. It was dark inside the cab so I couldn’t see the driver which was a little disconcerting. Could he see me? Was he watching? It had clearly not been there long, for as I walked past overawed by its size, the smell of warm rubber was still strong. A comforting smell. I’m not sure why. A childhood memory of a tyre strung up from a tree as a swing perhaps? Not sure. But warmth, any warmth is comforting to me, though the night air wasn’t cold.

We survived it. No one stopped us. A trip. A spin. Taking work to be photographed. I made coffee in a flask for him and lemon and ginger for me. We sat by the harbour while he did the work. An hour of watching, my face warmed by the sun. It was nice to get out, to get away. We conducted our consultation from outside. I placed the work on the step and he stayed at the front door. Only his dog broke the rules. Ben, he called, Ben. He looked a little older, perhaps it’s his hair grown longer. He had on his slippers. Carpet slippers. Tartan carpet slippers. Driving home the sweep of sea was magnificent. How blessed I am.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.