The Old Man and the TV

A warm fire in the afternoon.

An old man and his TV.

Armchair, cushions, newspaper,

And a blanket on the knee.

Loosen the belt, turn the hearing aid off,

The volume up and flick.

A documentary about Hitler and the Holy Grail,

The pyramids and Watson and Crick.

Drifting in and out of slumber,

An intermittent snore,

Dozing eyes behind drooping lids,

Catch the odd image of a war.

Or ancient parchments — hieroglyphics —

A camera panning far,

Computer graphics, simulations,

A safari-suited bore.

His voice so sure and steady,

(Emotion? No, not too much!)

Soothing, calming authority,

To help digest the lunch.

The old man wakes just as evening falls.

(The wife is due in soon.)

He shakes off sleep, stokes the fire,

And switches to the news.

The front door sounds.

(The wife is in!)

Bags plonked in the hall.

“Anything decent on my dear?”

“What? Not a bloody thing at all!”


About ucronin

Born in the country town of Ennis, Co. Clare, Ireland in 1975, I now live in Madrid with my partner and two young daughters and work in a research institute. While I was always a hungry reader and harboured vague notions of being a writer, as a young man writing was the furthest thing from my mind; after leaving school, I did a B.Sc. in Biotechnology in Galway's NUI, an M.Sc. in Plant Science in University College Cork and a Ph.D. in Microbiology in the University of Limerick, the plan being to dedicate my professional career to scientific research. While having written extensively within my technical scientific field, I had never contemplated becoming a writer of fiction until a road-to-Damascus moment on the N69 between Listowel and Tarbert, Co. Kerry in the summer of 2011. Since then, most of my spare time has been occupied with writing. In whatever other free moments I have, I like to listen to music, play the guitar and garden (which here in Madrid means a lot of watering of plants and spraying for red spider mite). My ambition is to become as good a writer as I possibly can, eventually freeing myself from the cold clutches of science and earning a living through my scribblings. The type of writing that excites me is honest, intelligent, well-constructed and richly descriptive.
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2 Responses to The Old Man and the TV

  1. Great prose! Oddly enough, my new year’s resolution was to watch less TV. Ha!

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