The Old Man.

These days my father watches life through a  television screen, anything else is far too serious and alive so he says.

From time to time he prods and scratches a hole in his head or at least something that resembles a healed up bullet wound. ‘Bugger them!’ he insists. ‘It’s time to die anyway and your ugly chops aren’t helping!’

I don’t bother to reply with any soothing words, there’s no point; he’s made up his mind and I know my father. At least I think I do. At eighty three he hasn’t got long and yet, I’m the only one in the  nursing home room who seems to care or at least wonder, if I will finally grow up when he begins his journey to nowhere.

His brittle hand grips a copy of  Ludovic Kennedy’s personal discourse on atheism, as he stares at me trying to decide whether he has done a good job or not. For a brief moment he smiles, there is a hint, something. ‘Go on then. Bugger off. Coronation Street is on in a minute’.

Coronation Street? I’d never known him to watch a soap opera before, perhaps it has something to do with the hole in his head.

Or maybe, it’s just mine reaching out to touch him.

JR

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