Wind (587)

I dread it. Going out in that wind, I do, I dread it. Don’t go, he says. But I must. I don’t feel right unless I move, unless I walk and get some fresh air. She says the same. Though we both struggle with the weather that winter inevitably brings. The wind is the hardest to deal with. The rain I can bear but it is the ferocity of the wind that beats me. I did walk. Though I spent most of my time clutching at walls, railings and downpipes, inching along pavements and calling out each time a gust threatened to floor me. Over fifty miles an hour. It wails and howls. I could hear dustbins clattering, rubbish and leaves being whirled and lifted from the ground. I didn’t go on the Prom, it is too wild, it would’ve been crazy. I am too fragile these days. I think I might snap. It isn’t personal I tell myself as I am shoved into yet another wall. The wind is marvellous, a true, primeval force. And the air smells so clean, so blown through. It is just doing what it is meant to do. If I felt stronger, safer, I would relish it. It is alive. As am I. My fear is testament to that.

I spent the morning transcribing my notebooks that I wrote on one of my visits to see her and after her death. They make hard reading. But the details, the conversations that I noted down are often a revelation. Did she say that? Did she do that? And I recall some of the incidents as I copy them down, such as the long length of ash from her cigarette finally breaking off, and unbeknownst to her, falling into the refrigerators’ ice box.

He has begun his new medication after spending a few hours weighing up whether to start or not. It is hard to make decisions, I understand that, but he is looking better. There is a pinkness to his skin now that had completely disappeared. He has lost a little weight but not as much as I’d feared. I’m beginning to feel more hopeful. An ultrasound today to determine whether his carotid artery is worth operating on and then we can breathe. At least for a little while.

Two bodies lay in a shop door way along Terrace Road. And in that wind. Bless them. You don’t know you’re born, she used to say. I try to. I do try.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.