Finally! Talking to Hamoudi again. And eating salad.

 ‘I want to tell you my secret now…’

The Sixth Sense

Tricky to hold the plastic pry tool and the phone at the same time, so I apologise for the ineptness of this photo

Weather: grey.

Mood: hermit crab

Word of the day: yapness – hunger

The furniture shop/garden centre down my road has now become a ‘Lifestyle Café’ after only being a garden centre for a week. A fancy sign declares it so. There were quite a few guys hanging around chatting, but I’m pretty sure they are the guys that hung out there when it was a furniture shop, so I doubt they’re spending much money. There were also a few washing machines for sale.

I drifted over that way, thinking I could do with a lifestyle. I had a look at the sign, admired the plastic ivy they had winding up the frame of the café. Then the guys all noticed me and stared, their expressions clearly saying, This is no place for the likes of you! So I hurried away.

On the bright side, I managed to bump into Hamoudi in the kitchen. He was cheerfully making a complicated salad, and after all my popcorn and crackers, I got pretty jealous. I asked him how his job at the bar was going, whether he was missing home, all the questions you’re supposed to ask someone you don’t know well. Finally I blurted out,

‘So, you see dead people?’

His face dropped, he stopped dicing carrots and leaned on the counter. Then said, his voice heavy with sorrow,

‘Back home, yeah. It’s been ok here. So far.’

‘What people? People you knew?’

‘No, just in the street. Looking in the window, in trees sometimes. They’re everywhere. They get lonely.’

‘And they scared you? That’s why you left?’

‘No, they made me sad. Every day, all these sad faces. And when other stuff started happening too, I thought, I can’t stay, this place isn’t safe.’

‘What other stuff?’ I asked.

Hamoudi said nothing, but handed me a bowl of salad with a look of sorrow and then turned away. I crept out. I was pretty excited about my healthy food, but forgot a fork so I had to eat it with a plastic pry tool for the car. They’re surprisingly effective.

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