glove at harbour (2)

The wind helps. For all its violence, and I was almost lifted off my feet by it, it sobers me, focussing my mind on the moment in an attempt to withstand its force. And the moon. I love to walk in the light of the moon. It is eerie, too sharp, too attentive. It throws white shadows upon the sea, and the clouds become ominous flying ships in its glare, scudding across the sky. No one is out, except for one man who comes out of the darkness at me, down the hill from the Castle, his plastic bag of Spar groceries flapping in the wind. I say good morning but my voice is swallowed up, lost.

Two visits to the dentist yesterday. I was not brave. It is the sound of the tools, that terrible screeching in one’s head. Makes my┬ábody goes rigid. It is the having to give over control. And yet they are gentle. The hygienist and the dentist. Both treating my unwilling mouth with tenderness. The feel of the rubber glove against my gums. Does it hurt? No, not really, I just expect it to. Relax. The crown is lifted. Off. I feel denuded, my tongue aches to search out the tooth beneath. No. I listen as he cleans it up. Carefully, minutely. A caring man, I think. He used to come and do Cis’s false teeth, he told me. I can imagine. Detailed work. A man with glasses, a beard and short, thick upper arms. He smiles with his whole face. All done. All done. I am grateful. Back in place, re-cemented. Another thirty years? Who knows.

The sound piece is almost done. I loved doing it. The reach of the voice. The control, the managing of sound. I liked working with him. Another gentle man, for all his fourteen stone. They spoke of rugby, naturally.

Five out of ten today. An improvement. You just have to be in it. Know it, own it, withstand it and it will pass. It will pass.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.