Rush hour. They’re changing the batteries in the birds…

Cd 11/Lockdown8 


They’re laying cables out in the street and nobody knows what for. The van is white and unmarked and the men, when you speak to them, smile and say nothing. It’s not only here. The lane up into the field is completely shut because there’s a yard-square hole right at the top. Net to that hole there’s No Smoking sign but down here there isn’t. So they can’t be linked. I saw them on the Stratford road, too, and it was weird though I didn’t know why at the time. It took until I got back her, to my desk, to realise what was wrong. 

It’s not a street, this one that I live on. I just said that because it rolls of the tongue better than road or cul-de-sac. I went for the cliché because t’s easier. But I don’t live on a street: it’s a dead-end dog-leg of a cul-de-sac that ends just round the corner and has very little purpose or relevance to anyone to who doesn’t live here. But suddenly there are men in high-viz vests opening up the bowels of the pavement and dropping inside. There are new wires lying along the side of the road ready to be swallowed up underneath it and no one knows what they’re for because no one has asked for them to be there. 

There were men in high-viz and white vans and there were the holes in the ground. There were no signs and no cones and big fuss made to close the road for the three inch infringement. Now that there’s no traffic on the roads they don’t feel the need to disrupt it. Except up the lane that leads up into the wilderness: That is completely closed at the moment, but I think that’s for a different reason. 

We’re well into the lockdown and I’m noticing a lot more than I used to. I could tell you every person that has passed by the house and only a fraction of them have ever been past there before. I think. All sorts of different dogs and people up and down my road – you see, it’s not a cul-de-sac for them; there’s a walkway that lets people through and opens up a whole world. If we’re not under the cow tunnel then we’re straight through the walkway and up over the fields. At the moment there’s not enough traffic to force us through the tunnel and we try to walk everywhere now. 

Maybe the isolation is getting to me. I sit and watch them and just now I’m sure I saw the little dogs of one of the new old couples walking past spasm and jerk suddenly and in total sync with each other. I couldn’t hear anything through the window but the couple looked around to see if anyone was looking then reached down and picked up the dogs. I sank into my chair and I don’t think they saw me.  

Somebody said that they’re changing the batteries in the birds. 

That’s why we’re all stuck inside.  

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.