Corona Times: sofa writer is back.
Lockdown is a time when you appreciate having good neighbours. There's a lovely couple who live across from me in the small garden in front of my flat. We're maintaining social distancing: them in their pinky white floral, verdant habitat, and me here in my brick and glass cage.
We are, all three, voyeurs. I open my blinds, and watch them through my window, and from their imposing leafy height they study me. Two sets of beady eyes judge my unwashed hair, stained onesie and last night's plates on the table next to a chipped floral mug. "I know," I say to them. "But you try isolating alone for this long, and I'll bet your standards would drop too!" Underwhelmed, they resume their mutual preening and pecking at the cherry blossom branches.
My slobbing on the sofa is not an unfamiliar sight, but they cock their heads in confusion and disbelief when I stand up to attempt some Joe Wicks PE moves. I'm sure they're willing me to get taller when I wobble about on tiptoes. Startled by my occasional bouts of yoga, they defecate at the sight of my strained cobra and warrior poses. I don't doubt they're most grateful for the days I keep my blinds closed.
Our occasional visitor is back. He doesn't care about self-isolating, and jumps from trunk to branch scaling our trees like he owns the place. In the spirit of good neighbourhood watch, I've been keeping an eye on him. He's been scurrying about hiding some mysterious bounty in multiple spots around the garden, and I suspect he's stockpiling. I'd like to ask my neighbours across the way what they think, but for all I know, the pigeons and squirrel might be friends. And besides, I'm not one to gossip.
Susan Haniford writes short stories and articles, and has published online, and in magazines and anthologies, including a Forces publication, endorsed by Dame Vera Lynn. She was shortlisted for Edge Hill University MA Short Story Prize, and won a national competition judged by Hilary Mantel.