…he seemed a bit coy with the workmen around.



Morrison has been round. I thought he would eventually. It was funny because I saw him coming round the corner and I ducked behind the blind so that he couldn’t see me watching him. I like to watch people make their mistakes. He rang the bell with as outstretched an arm as it was possible for him to managed, then sprung back almost to the end of the driveway. 

I’m never sure if this new people-phobia that we all have is a conscientious fear of passing on our own diseases or the actual real repulsion that we’ve just realised we have for everyone else’s. Morrison has a mask. He’s wearing a scarf over his face – one of those snood things with the skeleton face on that makes it look like he’s screaming from a rotted face, a bit.  

He’s just bored and I knew he’d be round eventually. Morrison lives with his mum and works at the bottom of the high street. He sells walkie-talkies or something like that and he gets bored really quickly. He tells all sorts of stories under his breath like he knows that no one’s really listening and I’m quite sure that he takes a long time to come up with the crap. Today, of course, it was all about this virus that we’re all running scared from. For some reason Morrison is still at work. 

“What I do is important for society” is all that he would say on the matter.  

In a couple of weeks (when he’s had time to think of something better) he’ll tell us about the role that his company has had to play in the whole saga. I noticed him watching the men in the high-viz wandering up and down the road. He seemed to know some of the men but he never mentioned anything about it. 

Last month, to give him some credit, he was telling me to get a few things stocked up in the garage toilet rolls, he said. And pasta. They were the things that were going to go first. I meant to mention this to him and ask him how he know he knew but it wasn’t easy to have a conversation over such distance and he seemed a bit coy with the workmen around. I wanted to thank him because he saved me some hassle. There is not a roll to be had in any of the supermarkets in town at the moment. 

Trouble with Morrison is that he’ll drop a bit of prophecy like this but it’ll get ignored by the next thing he says, like there’s a rocket testing site in the woods outside town, or a couple of stealth bombers with US flags on have just landed in the next county. One time he muttered something about tunnels running under the town – under every town. And men who pull the strings that make things happen. 

It was nice to see Morrison but he didn’t seem to have much to say. It seemed like he wanted to say something; like he was bursting to. But in the end it was the usual awkward fragments of conversation until in the end I felt like I was the one who had called on him and should think of something to say. 

“It’s going to get up to three thousand a day” he said, lowering his mask and whispering as loud as he could. “By next week, it’ll be three thousand a day. Stay inside.” 

That was Morrison. I watched him scuttle off down the road as though he had somewhere to go.

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