“What are you watching?”
“It’s just a daft programme.”
“What are they doing?”
“No reason. It’s just entertainment.”
“Yes. Well it’s meant to be.
- It’s not so bad really. Just something to switch off to.”
“Don’t you want to talk?”
“I’m tired, Mo. I’ve had a hard day at work. I just want to sit and watch this.”
“But what are they supposed to be doing?”
“Who gets the food?
- Oh, I see. It’s a competition.”
“Yes. The judges decide who’s best and they win a prize or something.
- To be honest, I’m not sure. It’s just something to chill out to.”
“You don’t want to talk or go for a walk? We could discuss this article.”
“What is it?”
“It’s about what’s happening in Iraq and Syria – all over the Middle East. It’s a good article – I know the man who wrote it.”
“Really Mo. I just want to watch this.”
“I see. Don’t you care about these things? “
“Of course I do.
- Look, maybe at the weekend we can talk, but I’ve just worked a twelve hour shift, I’m covering for two sick staff and my boss thinks I can get his promotion and his bonus for him and put his kids through private fucking school.
- I’m sorry, Mo. I’m really sorry. I didn’t mean to snap, it’s just that I don’t have the capacity to care anymore. It all gets used up. I didn’t mean to offend you.”
“People are dying, Annie.”
“I know, Mo. I just can’t handle it tonight.”
“But this thing you are watching – it’s all fake. It’s a subterfuge. It’s all worked out for the camera. I used to know someone who did all this.
- It’s lies. The production companies just make money out of it. You are being had.”
“I don’t care, Mo. I really don’t. Please just let me watch it.”
“Where are you going Annie?”
“I need a vodka.”
“It won’t help. It’s bad for you. I treat people with liver problems through drink. You should see them – it isn’t a pretty sight.
- Why don’t we go for a walk?”
“Because I’ve had enough. I just want to sit here, drink this vodka, watch the telly and get all today’s shite out of my head. I’ve got to go and do it all again tomorrow. And the next day. And the next day. And the next.
- Now look. You’ve made me miss it.”
“It’s available on-line. You can watch it anytime. Don’t you care about the bad things that are happening?”
“You can’t change any of it, Mo. It’s all going to happen anyway. It’s a rich man’s world. We can’t do anything.”
“You’re wrong, Annie. This is a free country. You have freedom of speech. You have democracy. If you can’t make a difference here, you can’t do it anywhere.”
“Nobody’s interested, Mo. Can’t you see? We’re all busy working just to make ends meet.”
“So that’s it then? Everyone is too busy.”
“Yes. Roughly. That’s it.”
“This is why people plant bombs, Annie.”
“What? Are you mad?”
“No. It’s why they do it. To get you to turn your tired busy heads and take notice of what is going on. What these great democracies are doing in your name.
- Can’t you see?”
“No, no, no, Mo. You can’t go around killing innocent people just to get your way.”
“But innocent people are dying all over the world because of things that happen in Europe and America.”
“Look, I don’t understand half of what happens, Mo, but planting a bomb under innocent people is just plain wrong. That I do know. It’s abhorrent.
- Why would anyone do that?”
“To get you to look and listen. To get you to make a difference.”
“Do you really think that will work? I’m sorry, Mo, but you’re crazy.”
“You haven’t seen what I’ve seen.”
“I see suffering every day. You know that. You see it, too. It’s inescapable. All we can do is try to alleviate it. That’s all.”
“Aaaah! Annie! It feels like nobody cares. They close their eyes. They are too busy enjoying themselves or paying their bills for their TV programmes.
- Why don’t they take an interest?”
“Oh, Mo, I don’t know why. But violence just breeds more violence.
- Do you want a world war? Be grateful for what you have here. If you care that much, get involved in politics – join in peaceful means. But not violence. It won’t achieve anything in the long term.”
“I’m sorry, Annie. It’s so frustrating.
- Can we talk?”
“We are talking, Mo.
- Listen. It’s still light. Let me turn this crap off and we’ll go for a walk.
- Grab my bag while I pop to the loo. Maybe we’ll call and see Jon and Becks.”
© Copyright Kevin Buckle 2014