By Ellen Best.
Who am I? A glimpse of me.
I hide in toilets, closets or hallways at gatherings. Whip out a note book (previously secreted about my person) and scribble things overheard or sights seen, a flash of imagination or dream.
My husband being asked if I am ill at parties, well, is just a hazard he has to bear ” No, she writes” you hear him say, with a small flinch and a tick at the corner of his mouth, with palms up he shrugs.
Neighbours look edgy when they pop by for a cup of tea, they are beginning to watch what they say. I am scuppering myself somewhat, as my neighbours with their Somerset dialects and accents thick with local intacracies, check themselves before speaking. Now I have to swap tea for wine to relax them. Wine to loosen their tongues and hear the peculiar jerky conversations recounted from the corner shop; one that is mimicked on league of gentlemen.
They let out a high pitched giggle or two and their eyes swivel between each other, as they desperately watch me, pencil in hand, and I pour another drop and smile. They secretly compete with each other, wanting to see who will encourage my first scribblings of the day. it is their input; their part to fill.
We have spoken at length about my need to capture words and sayings fresh from native mouths. These lovely ladies know I will never betray their secrets, or at least not reveal where they were gathered and by whom they were said. These new friends, or acquaintances as they’ve not known me long, understand it is just the way I am, what I do.
Sometimes I don’t want anyone to … just drop in. Disturbing my solace, my reclusive needs. Some of the time I am pleased we moved five hours from family, friends and the familiarity of place; so I can just be unsociable and write.
But we need new ideas, fresh perspectives and friends, friends we can never have too many of.
Besides I am only reclusive while in the flow, in my nook, or with my head in a book.
Other times I talk the horn off a unicorn, laugh raucously at silly things, tell jokes that only I laugh at. I also have wantonly decadent adventures with my love, but that’s another story for another day.
Each morning I wake, I decide that today will be good and I go for it. My secret time is morning, when snores rumble from under a feather-filled duvet and the light kisses the window in front of my desk. This time of the day, alone with my thoughts and relaxed from sleep, cuddling my special cup filled with sustaining tea, I begin.