These past nine days have given me a new appreciation for how my dad lives out his life. I’m pet-sitting for a friend. Since I have six pets of my own and a small-ish house, I sit for the pets at my friend’s house.
My friend who has no television.
I had no idea how important television was to me until I didn’t have access to it. Before you judge, I don’t use television like other people do: sitting in front of it for hours on end to escape the day. No, I keep it on at a three or four volume level–just low enough so I can hear some voices, but not loud enough to be able to get interested in any show.
I’m a writer, so I work at home. What I do is lonely enough. Though I turn off the television when I’m really concentrating on something complex, I find that I have to have the thing on the rest of the time.
And I know why: I crave the sound of voices, even when I don’t understand what they’re saying. It’s people contact for someone who’s shut off.
That’s what my dad is: shut off. If you’ve been reading this blog, you’ll know that my dad’s at the age where all his relatives, save his children, are dead. His friends are dead, save one. He needs his television to connect with the world when the world is too busy to seek him out.
Right now, I’m his world whether I like it or not. It’s up to me to help him connect and keep his connections so he doesn’t spin out into depression. It’s tough. We’re not close. We have basically never lived together. He had little part in my life until he needed someone to care for him. Yet, here we are.
I’ll ensure dad keeps his television going. I’ll do what I can to ensure he keeps up with his one last friend. And I’ll do better at reaching out and connecting with him myself.
How about lunch?