Ned by John Tustin

I’m watching this cop drama about a serial killer.
It’s made in the UK and takes place in Belfast.
In it, there is a tertiary character named Ned
Who seems to exist only to dredge ponds for evidence
Or provide the female lead with a crowbar when she asks,
Calling her Ma’am
And looking so efficient in his smart uniform. 
He goes where he’s told, spending hours in the fog and the rain
Triangulating coordinates and directing men and women 
We don’t ever meet but sometimes see in the background
As the female lead expresses her desperation, her calculation,
Her hope or her near defeat.
We have no idea if Ned has a wife, children, a grandchild.
We don’t know what he eats for breakfast but he’s British so
It’s probably bland.
Maybe he goes home to a quiet room and paints his memory of the crime scenes
Or just binge watches Downton Abbey or Seinfeld.
Maybe he has secrets but no one ever asks. 
Ned seems to exist to quietly and obediently serve his mistress
And the people of Belfast.
Stalwart, taciturn and only betraying the slightest concern or sadness
With his well-worn and typical face
Almost as if to mirror the thoughts of the female lead.
I like Ned. I want to know him.
The world needs a lot of Neds
Who don’t bother pontificating or emoting
But just do what is needed for the paycheck and the common good.
He never complains or asks for a raise. 
God bless you, Ned
And God save the queen.

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