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A memory of an old man


Rajiv 55 / 400  
May 1, 2015   #1
There was a routine I had at Barnes and Noble. After spending an hour or more of some intense reading, I'd take a break to come and sit outside on the benches. For me, there was something to learn from simply looking at life moving around, at that time. People going to work, or just otherwise going about their business. There would be maybe, another person or two, like me also sitting there eating their breakfast.

I've wondered if I appeared, as people do to me, when I find them staring. I think maybe not, for it wasn't so much at any individual, but as if, just what he or she was doing that I would be looking at. All of it like looking upon a new scenery, so true and real that sometimes it only appeared clothed in an innocuous demeanor, but every individual so alive to what he was doing. It was the coolness of the morning air which also made it pleasant and possible to sit there, nondescript myself, and observe this life.

Some of it started to become more familiar. Those people who were regular in things they did. I wondered how I never saw anyone observing me, as I often did the others. There are wanky people everywhere, and I wasn't considered so much as one of those, but perhaps just a bewildered foreigner... There was this one time, a wanky person was passing by. I couldn't tell whether it was a man or woman. They are looking for anything or anyone to latch on to, and aren't so much a menace as a nuisance. But dealing with them requires a certain deftness and equally, some awareness of the local culture. Make a mistake in what you say or how you react, and that person will make a drama right there with you, an awkward and unwilling participant, and everyone around as their audience.

As I sat there this time, this person's eyes alighted on me and lit up. He or she only a few feet away. "And what do we have here?" I remember her saying, and a feeling like of a prey when it sees a predator fixing upon itself started to descend upon me. Before my would be tormentor could have me in her clutches, an elderly man whom I had seen pass by before, engaged her briefly in conversation and sent her on her way.

I had my wits around to know what had happened. I wondered if my savior knew my astonishment, that I thought him only a helpless old man who shuffled down the street each morning for his newspaper and breakfast, oblivious of me. But he had a positive impression of me somehow. And knew that I would not be able to deal with the situation. So he stepped in and rescued me. Then quickly ducked away somewhere, before I could express gratitude.

When I ever I see old men sitting somewhere now, in a park or otherwise. And if it is a place I go to regularly, then though I may never exchange greetings with anyone, I pause at the memory of this incident, and know that though I have never said anything to them, these geezers have a good sense of who exactly I am.
lcturn87 - / 435 236  
May 1, 2015   #2
I have suggested some changes that could make this essay better. I hope this helps you.

1st paragraph: The second sentence I suggest making slight changes: intensely reading....on a bench. Also change this sentence to: There were people going to work or going about their business.

2nd paragraph: I'm unsure about this first sentence. Do you mean that you wonder if you appear to others as if you are staring? When you state all of it seemed innocuous, do you really want to state it this way? Are you comparing what is true or real to a demeanor that is not harmful or uninteresting? I would change the word observe to observing.

3rd paragraph: This second sentence is vague. I'm assuming you mean that your perception was that others observed you seeing them, but you never observed them seeing you. There is a term you used that is a vulgar slang term. You use it to describe people everywhere and a person who was passing by. Please use the term contemptible or another word because you want to avoid being offensive in your academic writing.

4th paragraph: The first two sentences need some work. This person is a she. The open sentences should reference her as "she" and not he or this person, because the reader will have difficulty understanding your essay. The next sentence seems like a feeling you felt. However, you describe it as something she said. If it was a feeling, you should describe it differently. Change the beginning of the last sentence to: Before my tormentor...

5th paragraph: Please explain what you mean by wits around. Also, you want to link the third and fourth sentence together. Place a comma between the word "somehow and "and". Make sure to make "and" lowercase. The last sentence should begin as: Then I quickly...

6th paragraph: The fist sentence is incomplete because you don't explain what happens. You end this sentence with "otherwise". I am going to suggest rewriting this whole paragraph. It seems like you are trying to express that an older man has a greater sense of who you are. You just have to explain the details better that lead up to this last sentence.
OP Rajiv 55 / 400  
May 1, 2015   #3
Hello Lakia.
I am not writing for any academic evaluation.

I've found there's something in writing "correctly" that takes away the fun from it. One can object there is all that good writing out there. I wish a reader's focus to be towards its other aspects. Everything, but the grammar, unless it detracts from the piece's clarity. My writing has been suffering from some of that more recently. But, I care less for rules, than to come through. And feel free to use words as they seem right.

You did not say whether you liked anything about the piece ? or, and pardon this, were you only in correction mode?


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