Button Man

My father’s lost his job. He’s been out of work now two months and spends most of his time just slouched in front of the tv, smoking his rolled up cigarettes.

He worked nine years as a security guard but his boss sold out to a bigger firm. They took over and brought in their own team. They paid lousy wages. Some suit talked about cut backs, job losses, efficiency savings.

Smooth fancy words.

But my father wasn’t fooled. He knew what was coming and was thrown on the scrapheap with all the others.

This recession’s biting deep. Ain’t seen so many people unemployed. Men on the streets, shit kickers and school leavers with nothing to do, no place to go. Where in hell can my father expect to get another job at his age? Where? How’s he ever gonna be able to afford to run a car?

My mother’s sure his old firm owe him money. They can’t just get rid of someone after all those years and not pay out a bean. She yells at him from the kitchen. She’s busy in there frying liver, sausage, eggs, spreading margarine onto value brand baps.

My father sits tight in his chair and doesn’t say a word. Then he leans over and picks up the tv remote. He points it at the screen and runs through all the channels. Fifty, sixty channels, one after the other; anything to pass the time, to relieve the boredom.

Gunfights, motorsport, football.


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