Morris.

Morris looked haggard, and it often made people sad to see him. He bothered people, not on purpose, but simply because they saw him and this bothered them. Mostly it bothered them a good few days later, with a short gap between the two events. In this time they had been to work, watched a good selection of mundane television, ignored their child at least twice, and forgotten to do some sort of task.

They were not bad people, although it had bothered Katie that week when her father, one of the aforementioned people, returned from work, he refused to indulge her whim of "Daddy, Daddy, let's play Monopoly."

"No" he had said. No father was cruel enough to inflict Monopoly on himself. Simon cursed his mother-in-law for presenting the family with a Monopoly set, convinced that it had been given maliciously. Ludo, now that was a fine game – and with fewer small pieces to choke on – but one had to draw the line at Monopoly, Simon decided.

In mentally berating his Mother-in-law, Simon was distracted from organising the timer for the Christmas lights outside and so they did not turn themselves off. As a result of this, there was much happiness from the passing folk, wrapped in winter gear, strutting and struggling past the house with their extended families looking gloomy and bored – the only real topic of conversation found in admiring other people's Christmas lights – and Simon's electricity bill suffered.

On discovery, Simon cursed his Mother-in-law further, and continued to grumble about Christmas to himself, fuelled further when he found that his sister had bought him a gimmicky book all about dreams, rather than the socks he had politely requested.

It was then that he remembered Morris, and this bothered him. Morris and Simon would never meet again. Katie would never hear of Morris, and Simon would spend his time after Christmas buying himself the forgotten socks. Simon and Morris' passing on the bus had been entirely coincidental (Simon had been getting off the bus, Morris had been at the bus stop), and neither had shown a great deal of interest on the other.

Morris himself had spent Christmas with Simon. This Simon, however, was a dog. He was a greater companion than Simon the First may ever have been. The two were not completely dissimilar. Had Simon the Dog played Monopoly, it is unlikely that he would ever have grasped the finer points of the game, and it is also unlikely that he would have made a fine banker, as unappreciative perhaps as Simon the First. On the other hand, he may have enjoyed rolling in the paper money, it is questionable that Simon the First would have participated in this.

After Christmas, Morris found that the weather was cold. It smelt cold, it sounded cold (mostly his perpetual sniff), and it definitely felt cold. Morris wished a relative had bought him a nice, thick, floor length sheepskin coat for Christmas. Morris' relatives did not much talk to him. It was a challenge for someone who did want to talk to Morris since he was fairly hard to phone or write to, having neither phone nor address, and much harder from the point of view of a relative who had decided that they no longer wishes to socially engage with a tramp.

Morris spent many of his days in bus shelters, like that which Simon the First had seen him in. He had noticed Simon the First. Morris noticed most people, but soon forgot them. He found people monotonous, and found Simon the Dog most interesting. Simon the Dog often chased pigeons, which Morris found of great advantage when walking through flocks of them, as he commonly did. Pigeons, it seemed, like to congregate in parks. It was like having a personal pigeon shooer (He who shoos pigeons), Morris thought, as the pigeons flew away, leaving a clear path. Simon the Dog was his greatest friend.

It was Simon the Dog's fault that Morris was at the station at that point in time. Simon the Dog had fled from Morris for no apparent reason. Morris decided that Simon the Dog had most likely entered the station since the two had been standing near it, and Morris had also seen Simon the Dog run into it, further substantiating this idea.

Morris wandered a while, and whistled a few times in a pitiful manner (Morris was not much of a musician). He did not see Simon. He saw a man hit a woman, the crack echoing a little.

Morris thought that this was odd since it was a public place. Usually, he thought, this thing happens 'behind closed doors'. He was also morally outraged, and felt that fundamentally there was something wrong with life if someone could do this. He was also a little cross at himself: he wondered if he was outraged because it was a woman, or because it was another human. He could not decide, and wondered if one was better than the other, or whether he was sexist by being sympathetic to possibly only women, and slowly these ponderings became distracting and he continued looking for Simon the Dog whilst thinking about this.

Morris looked around the station some more. He looked in the shop that sold biscuits and newspapers and dirty magazines. He saw two boys looking up at these. They left when he came near, and went back out into the station. Morris did not see his friend, but he saw the shop keeper glaring at him. Morris left.

Morris was sad. He wondered a little why Simon the Dog had run off – perhaps he no longer felt the need to be friends with him. After all, there were far more interesting people in life to talk to. Perhaps Simon the Dog felt that he would prefer a life with an owner who made a good wage and could afford to present him with well-earned doggy treats when they returned from a long day at work. Morris did not spend long days at work, and had only procured a collar for Simon the dog from a shop, after a long time scavenge money from and around people.

Morris was sad for a short while following this thought. He did not think himself a great dog owner, but was sad that his great companion might run away from him. Over the sound of silence and heavy-hearted thoughts, Morris head a tap tap of paws.

Simon the Dog appeared from the direction of the toilet. Morris wondered about this. They sat together and watched the trains. Morris was happy.