#15

The night before the lockdown, I met her at the bar down the street. I walked, because, it’s close. She came by bike.
Me: Hey.
Her: Hi.
We didn’t know there was going to be a lockdown, but we kind of guessed it would happen. Already stores were out of toilet paper, which seemed odd to me. Me: Seems odd, toilet paper.
Her: people got to wipe.
Me: I suppose.
We each drank a beer. It was cold. Marty was behind the bar, I asked him what the plan was if they had to close.
Marty: The plan is to finish the screenplay I’ve been writing and to sleep for days.
Her: What about the bar?
Marty: People will come back. I’m not worried.
He cracked open a couple more for us.
Marty: On the house.
We were the only customers there. He had the TV on mute in the corner and jazz playing on the sound system. That was unusual here, where the atmosphere was usually punctuated by sports or classic rock — usually a bit of both.
Her: I like it quiet. I hope people get back to doing hobbies at home.
Me: What, like knitting?
Her: Yeah, or reading. Just doing nothing. We don’t get many chances.
The door opened and a stream of sunshine came in the door, streaking across the floor so you could see all of the dust, the shoe marks. It was a policeman.
Him: Hey folks, just letting you know, we’re going to have to close up these places in an hour. Governor just called it.
Marty: Here you two, take these. You’ll need them. He hands us each a bottle of whiskey as we pound the beers and head out.
On the sidewalk it’s quiet, the news hasn’t reached everyone yet. We hold hands, and then, she lets go and starts off towards home.
Her: Promise you’ll call?