I am Sivan, an antique peacock reporting from Mount Lavinia, Sri Lanka. If you are new here, be sure to check out the last post: “My Life and Hardish Times” by Sivan.
It’s Friday and The Man is sitting at the dining table giving a class online. Earlier in the day, The Man and The Woman had a discussion about the curfew that will start at 6 p.m. and end at 6 a.m. At around 4:30 p.m., The Woman comes out of the study. She takes a piece of paper and scrawls in large letters “The curfew starts at 6 p.m. tonight and ends at 6 a.m. on MONDAY MORNING.”
The Man looks away from the screen and shrugs as if saying, “What do you want me to do about it?”
The Woman scribbles again and holds up the paper for The Man to see. “Stop teaching. We need to go to the grocery store NOW.”
They grab a few shopping bags and head out the door. I hope that they will accomplish what they ventured out to do. Shortly after they leave, they’re back. Empty-handed. Apparently the shop had already closed.
It’s Saturday. The Woman goes into the kitchen to see how much liquor is left. There was only 1/3 of a bottle of gin. Meanwhile, The Man is falling asleep on the couch. “You drank all our gin,” she scowls. “The curfew has been extended until Tuesday and when it gets lifted, the liquor stores won’t be open.”
The Man doesn’t say anything. He is asleep on the couch.
It’s Tuesday morning and the curfew is lifted. At 7:30 a.m., their friends Rebecca and Conrad come by the flat to go grocery shopping with The Man and The Woman. Rebecca and Conrad are their new friends that live down the street. Due to social distancing, they don’t greet each other with a hug and a kiss like they normally do. They just smile at each other. “I can’t believe I am excited to go grocery shopping,” The Woman says.
Less than an hour later, The Man comes home with Conrad to fill up water bottles. Based on their conversation, it seems that the queue at the grocery store snaked around the whole block and down the street. In order to prepare to stand in line under the hot sun for the whole morning, they came back to get more water.
Then, a couple of hours later, The Woman comes home. She leads a large, bald, white man into the flat. He is carrying a box. Before he leaves, he opens the box to show The Woman the content: 12 bottles of wine. She leaves the house shortly again.
Two hours later, The Man and The Woman come home with their groceries. The Woman showed The Man the box. “We should be okay for a while,” she says. “Perhaps when the curfew lifts again on Friday, we can order some of the cheaper stuff so we don’t drink all the good stuff,” she chuckles.
But then they find out that the curfew will not be lifted on Friday after all. There is no word on when the curfew will be lifted again. The 12 bottles of wine will have to last indefinitely. Good thing I don’t drink!
The lack of alcohol indefinitely is a bleak thought that disturbs them. But they decide to make the best of it. They fill two glasses with wine and head up to the rooftop to enjoy the sunset over the Indian Ocean. They have enough groceries and wine to last them for a while, and at least they have each other. And to top it off, they are stuck in the beautiful Mount Lavinia with the best guard peacock in the world. And The Cat’s here too.
Inspired and edited by Mohini Khadaria.