harbour Re-Re-Write Chapter 4
- Hey guys. After a lot of thought, and a lot of very adamant feedback on this one, I've gone back and re-re-written this chapter. Thank you for not letting me get away with it.Once you reach a certain age the human body is not much more than a urine machine. Not good for much else but unstoppable when it comes to making pee.
Doesn�t matter what you eat. Doesn�t matter what you drink. You can stop eating and drinking altogether and your body will still find a way to make more yellow stuff.
The bathroom becomes the focal point of your existence. Always on your way there or thinking about getting there before you wet yourself. Always aware of where the nearest bathroom is.
I tried cutting out coffee. Tried getting rid of the one beer a day I already cut myself down to.
But it still seems like all I ever do is pee and think about peeing.
That�s what getting old does to the body. Aches and pains. Creaks and rusty sounds that never go away.
And always needing to pee.
I sit in the car some nights and calculate the steps to the nearest bathroom.
And plastic underwear and rubber sheets can�t be too far away. Diapers for old people. At least then I won�t have to make as many trips to the bathroom.
Seems to me the human body is one more of God�s practical jokes. A prank pulled on the human race like poop in a bag or muscle rub in your jockstrap. Doesn�t matter what you do or how you live your life, in the end your body�s guaranteed to mess with you. Just one big joke. Bad bladders have us running back and forth to the bathroom trying not to get those last few drops on our shoes while God�s sitting up there wearing a propeller beanie and laughing his behind off.
I�d give just about anything for one night where I didn�t have to wake up every fifteen minutes to go to the bathroom. Sleep is just something that taunts me in between trips to the toilet. Can�t remember the last time I slept right through.
Quit smoking. Quit drinking pretty much too. Bout the only pleasure I got left is my coffee and that goes through me faster than a greyhound after a plastic rabbit.
Even when I tried cutting coffee I still had to pee all the time.
And I got real mean.
Mean�s a bad thing in my line of work. Saw enough of mean as a kid to know that it�s not the kind of cop I want to be. Gives the job a bad name.
So I went back to my coffee. Nobody exactly argued with me about that one.
Mind you, there�s not really a whole lot of people around to do that nowadays. Since she left with the kids there�s nobody to argue with. Nobody to tell me everything that I�m doing wrong.
You wouldn�t know it from looking at me now but there was a time when I could do no wrong. I pass a mirror sometimes and see this fat middle aged man walking by. Seems like some stranger. It�s not me. Not the me I think I am.
I can�t get it in my head that the fat old guy�s who I am now.
But it is. I can feel it in this sluggish body. I can see it when I look down and there�s this big gut sticking out. I just can�t make my head believe that I could�ve changed that much.
Christ, how did I let it get like this? I�m not that old. Not as old as I look. Not as old as I feel. God gave me this athlete�s body that and I turned it to shit.
My head still thinks I could run forever. It thinks I can still do things that make people get up on their feet and cheer.
But all I�m good for anymore is making pee.
No wonder Maddie left. She married a comic book hero and ended up with a comic book joke.
Man, Maddie sure did try though. She really did give it the old college try. Hung in there through all my whining and complaining, through all the failure, all the bitterness and really did try to make it work.
In the end I didn�t give her much choice.
The woman gave me a lot better than I deserve.
I pissed it all away.
Ha. Very funny.
Yeah. Funny�s the word for it alright.
I drive around all night hoping nothing will happen. Sit here in the squad car and hope I won�t have to get out for anything but coffee and the bathroom. I can still remember when I was just itching for something to happen. When I first put on that uniform. Always revved up for action. Pumped up and ready to save the world.
Now I sit here and pray that nobody needs my help.
Man, I feel sorry for them if they do.
Probably pee my pants if anything ever really did happen.
Just counting off the days to retirement.
Day after day exactly the same. Always get my coffee at the same place. It pretty bad. The coffee I mean. Kind of watery and funky tasting. That cranky little Chinese woman dragging her feet and making me repeat my order three times. Exactly three times. I get the same thing every time. Coffee, black, no sugar and a bran muffin. Helps keep me almost regular. The muffin. I make the same joke every time too. She gives me that blank stare, drags he feet on the linoleum and makes me repeat the order three times.
Picks her nose right in front of me too.
Always the same.
Except nothing�s the same as it used to be.
Uniform sure doesn�t fit like it did. Nothing fits like it used to. Kids make jokes about me.
I swear to God there used to be a time when people liked cops. Maybe I imagined that. But it felt like people respected the uniform. Like the whole world was different. Maybe it was just me that was different. Maybe I inspired respect back then. Maybe people were just less willing to mess with me back when I could run them down and do something about it.
I don�t know.
It�s hard to remember exactly.
Threw all the pictures out. Don�t need to be reminded of the change. Do that all on my own. I don�t need nothing to help me feel sorry for myself. No siree. That�s for sure.
Geez I really do need to pee.
Someday bladder transplants�ll be all the rage. They�ll take out the worn out bladders and give us all brand new ones. We�ll all be peeing like kids again. Writing our names in the snow. Yeah.
Then we�d all find out that, past a certain age, you�ve got nothing better left to do than pee.
Been on the night shift for I can�t remember how long now.
Where they put all the old dogs out to die. Nothing ever happens. Not in my sector anyway. You can disappear into the night shift. Other cops see me sometimes and their eyes say �Is that guy still alive?�.
Graveyard shift. Yeah. That�s about right.
Far as most people are concerned I�m just a ghost.
Nobody had to kill me. Did it all on my own. Can�t remember when it happened. Can�t remember when I stopped caring about things like promotion, family, career. The future. Not all at once. Took my time dying. Each day just mattered a little bit less. Then one day you wake up a ghost of who you were and the only thing that matters anymore is making it to the bathroom on time.
Better find one pretty damn soon too.
Not Grease Willy�s gas station. Nope. Not tonight. Place stinks too much and old Willy�s always trying to make conversation. Can�t make sense of what he�s saying most of the time.
McDonalds one is pretty close. It�s always pretty clean and no one tries to talk to you this time of night. Might even get a burger while I�m there. Or some of those chicken nuggets. Maybe treat myself to one of those shakes like when I was a kid.
McDonalds it is.
Once you reach a certain age you�re just another pee machine.
Finding the right bathroom is the high point in your day.
Everything in between is just graveyard.
"I have opened my mouth unto the Lord, and I cannot go back."
Jephthah- Judges 11:35
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- Very good, I would name your style as geriatric
writing rather than creative.
Your email is received at 1530 hours at my end here in
Ankara, the first from T2W egroup. I was expecting a
flashing positive piece from t2w, what I received was
a piece of human reality, which deserves to be read at
a later hour. If Chapter-4 is such document, I dare to
say that I can read till the end.
I also noticed your participation to many creative
writing egroups in yahoo.
I hope that you have enough thick skin I presume, do
not expect to receive "constructive critism" from me.
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I like the voice, it's dead-on for a middle-aged macho guy feeling
sorry for himself as he slowly goes to seed.
But while the voice is fine, there's nothing really happening here. I
kept waiting for some context. I can't tell why is he so obsessed with
peeing right now at this moment.
Here are some questions I had that might help you:
Is he on a stakeout and can't leave the car to pee? Is he patrolling?
What time of night is it? Is he in a big city or a small town? Is
everything closed so he can't find a bathroom? What does he see? What
does he hear? What does he smell? Is it cold out? Does he have the
window down so he can hear what's happening on his beat or is the
heater stifling him? Maybe it's raining and the sound of the water on
the roof intensifies his need to go.
This gives some good background about his wife leaving him and taking
the kids, but if it's the entire chapter, it doesn't seem to move
much. Also, how old were the kids? If he's old enough to have serious
bladder problems, I would think the kids would have already moved out
on their own unless he, like I, waited until he was older to get married.
On a more technical level, I think you should do away with the first
reference to quitting coffee and leave the one where he says quitting
coffee made him mean. That would make the first part flow better.
Also, the shift in this thoughts toward the graveyard shift is too
abrupt, I think. I hope this helps.
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, Jules Delorme
> Hey guys. After a lot of thought, and a lot of very adamant feedbackon this one, I've gone back and re-re-written this chapter. Thank you
for not letting me get away with it.
>urine machine. Not good for much else but unstoppable when it comes to
> Once you reach a certain age the human body is not much more than a
> Doesn't matter what you eat. Doesn't matter what you drink. You canstop eating and drinking altogether and your body will still find a
way to make more yellow stuff.
- RE:>>> I like the voice, it's dead-on for a middle-aged macho guy
feeling sorry for himself as he slowly goes to seed.
Thank you Sam Those are all useable points! I've saved your notes and
will use them when I approach this guy again!