Taking Care of Lockdown

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

Scott Moore was fed up of the lockdown. 2021 was picking up exactly where the horrors of 2020 had left off. Then he had a visit from the most unexpected visitor.

Scott Moore was losing his mind in the never-ending Lockdown. The glimmer of hope that had briefly appeared over New Year’s Eve 2020 had quickly been snatched away. After his first full day back working from home, and after lots of problems with deliveries, he had logged off the computer and got up from the kitchen table. He went through to the living room, and wondering if he should stick to the 2021 diet or have one last blow-out and get something sent in, he flicked on the television.
What now? He chunnered as he spotted the Prime Minister live on the BBC. Not today, mate, let us have a few more days before more doom and gloom. The PM stared down the camera and adjusted his tie. Here we go, thought Scott. Then the PM dropped his bombshell. 
‘It is with regret,’ the PM started, going on to detail the latest restrictions.
Scott swore at the television. He couldn’t believe it. Another lockdown? They hadn’t left the last lockdown. It wasn’t another lockdown, it was the same miserable existence they’d been in for months. He was working from home, losing his mind all day at the laptop, his shopping was delivered to the door. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d left the house, never mind, saw friends or family. He was hardly sleeping, was eating and drinking far too much. At weekends he found he was opening his first beer earlier and earlier in the day. During the initial weeks of last year’s spring Lockdown he had been a bit naughty and started drinking around five o’clock. Since then the hour he started had got earlier and earlier. These days it was just after midday when, with a hopeless, nothing-else-to-do shrug, he would head for the fridge. 
He wasn’t watching anything in particular on television these days either. He had always been a massive science fiction fan but since lockdown and the pandemic and everything he had completely fallen out with the genre. He hadn’t even bothered with the Doctor Who special over Christmas. For Scott the beauty of science fiction was that it was escapism. He would leave the dreary real world behind and immerse himself in to the far-out world of science fiction, but since 2020, when things started to resemble a Sci-Fi story, he had found the genre to be almost mocking the events of this year. Like everyone, his mood had deteriorated over the months of lockdown. He would speak to his family and friends over video call and telephone. It was a connection with the outside world, but it wasn’t the same. He would end the call and be left alone and miserable in his living room. 
One Friday afternoon, Scott’s finish time finally arrived. With a weary sigh, he clicked log-out on the work system. At least that was done for the week. The problems with deliveries and Brexit could wait for now. Nothing would get done until Monday now.  He closed the lid of his laptop and opened the fridge. The bottle of beer popped and fizzed. Scott took a long, much needed, swig of lager. He would probably spend another evening drinking and watching random videos online. 
A couple of hours and couple more drinks later found Scott watching a documentary about the history of professional wrestling in the UK. He got himself another beer from the fridge. When he went back through to the living room he was not alone. There was a man standing by the fireplace. He was tall and stocky and wore a white onesie. 
‘What are you doing in my house, mate?’ Scott growled.
The figure turned. Scott was completely bewildered to find the guy was dressed as Elvis. What on earth was an Elvis impersonator doing in his house? At a time when his parents couldn’t even call over for a cup of tea, the last person he expected unannounced was an Elvis impersonator. Was this now a thing? Could you send an Elvis-o-gram to cheer someone up?
Mind you, he thought, he really did look like Presley, though. The man gave him a salute.
‘What are you doing here? Who let you in? Who are you?’
The man removed his trademark gold sunglasses and placed them down on the fireplace. He looked around the room.
‘Nice place you got here, sir.’ He said.
The guy had the Memphis drawl of the King. Whoever this guy way, he was a great impersonator. You’d actually think it was him. He adjusted his thick jewel-encrusted belt.
‘Thanks, I think. Where do you live?’ asked Scott.
‘Well, Graceland is my home.’
Graceland, of course it was.
‘I’m Elvis. What’s your name?’
‘I’m Scott Moore.’
‘Ha, Scotty, you have the same name as my guitar player back in the old days.’
Scott didn’t know what to say. He took a swig of beer. He knocked back the last of the lager. Was he imagining things? Would he wake up to find he had fallen asleep in front of the television showing the 1968 ‘Comeback’ special? Had lockdown and work finally sent him under?
‘I need a drink.’ Scott said.
‘Could I get a soda?’ asked Elvis.
‘Yeah,’ Scott shrugged. ‘why not?’
Scott took the cold beer from the fridge. He pressed the cold glass bottle against his cheek. He stared into space. He went back through to the living room with the beer and the can of cola. Elvis was pacing up and down. Scott had hoped whatever this figure was, he would have vanished as quickly as he’d appeared. But Elvis was still there. Scott handed him the cola.
Elvis thanked him with the purred ‘thank you very much’ that had become his trademark. Scott laughed. Maybe this guy was actually the King. Maybe stress had caused him to imagine the rock star was in his living room. It was definitely him, though. This was no impersonator. He looked exactly like the man himself. It was him.
As Scott took the armchair and Elvis sat on the sofa, he decided to get to know the character, however it was he was appearing to him.
‘So, you’re Elvis?’
‘Yes, sir.’
‘What are you doing here?’
‘Why is any of us anywhere? It don’t do to start overthinking things. The Lord has a plan for us and we just has to go with it.’
Scott smiled, it sounded like the introduction to a Gospel song or something.
‘Can you remember the first time you performed in public?’ Scott asked.
Elvis smiled, he nodded, his bouffant hair bobbing.
‘Yes, sir. It was the Mississippi-Alabama Fair and Dairy Show. I was ten years old and dressed as a cowboy. I came fifth and won five bucks and free tickets to the rides.’
‘What song did you sing?’
‘It was a song called Old Shep.’
‘Oh yes, you also sang that at high school, didn’t you?’
‘Sure did. You know your history.’
Scott nodded. That was the one thing he knew about Elvis. Scott wasn’t an Elvis fan but did know that fact about the singer. Scott’s grandmother, Dorothy, had been a huge fan of Elvis, and had named their dog Shep, after the notable incident in Elvis mythology. Presley sang the song about a childhood dog again at a high school talent show when he was a teenager. He came first that time and never looked back. The song even featured on his second album.
‘What about you, Scotty? What’s going on with you?’
‘Not a lot, mate, what with everything that’s going on.’
‘How’s that?’
‘The global pandemic. We’re in national lockdown. We can’t go out, can’t see friends and family.’
‘Its people that matter, Scotty. You need good folks around you.’ said Elvis. 
‘I do speak to my mates a lot and call my parents, but it’s hard, you know? I can’t even walk down the street.’
‘I know how that it, sir. I haven’t been able to walk down the street since ’56.’ replied Elvis sadly.
There was a certain melancholy behind the over the top showbiz glitz of the large-collared jumpsuit and the gold rings. Elvis had it all, the super-stardom, the riches, and the mansion house. The boy from Tupelo, Mississippi had gone on to become a legend, but the person in front of him didn’t seem much happier than he was. Elvis fidgeted with the large gold rings he wore. 
Scott noticed the initials on one of the large gold rings. The letters TCB were mounted between what looked like two lightning bolts.
‘T.C.B? What is that?’
Elvis held up his ring as though seeing it for the first time.
‘This is my personal motto. Taking Care of Business. That’s kinda what I try to do. The logo is taking care of business in a flash.’
Take care of business, maybe Scott should take the motto on board. He hadn’t been taking care of himself, mentally or physically, never mind, taking care of any business. 
Scott found he had finished another beer. It was definitely time for another. The fact that he was seeing Elvis Presley in his living room suggested that he was either drinking too much, or not enough. Scott opted for the ‘not enough’ option. 
‘Another soda?’
Elvis shook his head. Scott popped to the fridge.
When he came back into the living room, he was alone. The apparition, whatever it was, had left. Scott erupted into laughter. Elvis had left the building.
The following morning Scott’s mother rang him on video-call. He smiled and waved. His mother said she liked his shirt. They discussed the lockdown rules, the Prime Minister and the bleakness of everything. Scott was about to tell her about his weird dream that Elvis Presley called around for a cola when she pointed. On the small screen, she pointed over his shoulder.
‘What’s that?’ she said.
‘On the fireplace?’
Scott turned to see a pair of gold sunglasses.


Submitted: January 08, 2021

© Copyright 2021 CTPlatt. All rights reserved.

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Another symptom to add to a long list... :). Nice little tale!

Sat, January 9th, 2021 10:05am

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