The Old Engineer

by Lisa Organ
(Stafford, England)

Tell me your stories again, the ones I know the endings to and I will nod and ask the same questions I always do. Lets sit and I will watch you smile as you remember it as if you were there now, “seeing, hearing, tasting” and I will try to come with you travelling along your descriptions and the snippets of times past held static in photographs.

Time passes as you talk and people stray in and out, newspapers left on tabletops, tea cups with contents slowly cooling, bags of oddments blocking cupboards.
Your visits are marked by bananas in the fruit bowl, paper napkins laid out flat for breakfast and the newspapers, always the newspapers.

Time passing both a blessing and a burden, you lament and curse another year passed but there after another one to bear, still soldier on with daily potions, breakfast banana and black chocolate square.

Watch the morning news for “what’s happening in the world” and the weather report before daring to venture outdoors. Fronts moving, pressure changing, wind speeds and direction inform on the right choice of apparel.
Hat and jacket battle the elements for the daily dose of newspaper to be brought back, tutted over, sneered at and laughed at.
“You’ll never guess,” You’ll say. “This’ll make you laugh,” and “Sack the ruddy lot of them.”
Digested from cover to cover, stories sucked dry in time for the lunchtime news and the weather report.

Afternoons pass with tales and tea, the history of battles, the origins of alcohol, the geography of far flung places, the Chinese, the French, my time in HK and the state of the railways.
And still people passing in and out, cups with cooling contents, bags of odds and ends and the newspapers, always the newspapers.

Catch the six o’clock news before dinner,
“See what’s happened today.”
But these days the ten o’clock evades you, the day ended without news before bed.

So let the world carry on with its mischief making throughout the night for you to relish on awakening.
It’s retold in full colour and stereo sound with weather report on the half hour.
Breakfasted and suitably attired you head out and bring back type set, headlined, the newspaper, always the newspaper.

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