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I turn the taps
and take a seat
on the toilet.

Flicking through
a poetry book
by the ‘son’.

There’s some 
good stuff
in there.

I pull some
toilet paper
from the roll
and blow
my nose,
it’s red
and sore,
my nostrils
tender to
the touch
after 24 hours
with the 

The ‘son’ once
told me
‘…write something
you’re proud of.’

Good advice.

He also said:
‘…I have no advise
 about women. 
I am so utterly 
and completely
 unskilled with 
women that when
 I meet one I 
should just surrender
 my credit cards and 
my car keys. 
It'd be easier that way.’

More good advice.
I sink into
the hot water
of the freshly 
run bath.

Pick up
his words
and settle

I need a shave.


I place the
book by the
bath side
and squirt
shaving gel
onto my
rub it into
my face then
take the razor
to the lot.

It’s a scrappy
affair at best.

Looking back
at me from
the mirror
positioned on
the shelf
straddling the
bath is a 
face that shows
more age than
is required.

The eyes are
old and the
mouth shows
no hint of
a smile.

My neck
aches under
the tension
of a cold.
Earlier the
good lady
returned from
the shops with
fluids and
medicated sweets,
tissues and

‘Do you want
a beer…’

she asked.

I shook my

‘Arrh, poorly

She replied.

‘What about
a stripper?’

She joked.

I shook my
head again.

‘You are poorly!’

She smiled.

She lifted her
top and
slipped her
right breast
from her bra.

Then rubbed
her nipple
on my arm.

‘Smile monkey.’

She instructed.

I just looked
at her like
a fool, unable
to respond 
like a human.

The bathroom
door handle
moves, I see
it in the mirror
on the shelf.


I ask.

No answer.

I carry on
wiping the shaving
gel from my

The handle
goes again.


I ask.

‘Can I have
the potty?’

My youngest
niece asks.

‘OK, hold on.’

I stand
naked and
glorious in
the bath,
pull a towel
from the radiator
then step out
and reach
for the potty.

I wrap the towel
around my waist,
 open the door
and pass the
potty out.

Sitting once
more on the
toilet seat.

as if it’s the
latest most

The ‘son’s words
come back to me.

‘If a guy has something
 to say - an energy he 
transfers to
 paper - he must be
 careful of the 
responsibility to
 continue to have 
impact on his reader. 
Fame is not 
a problem for me.
 I'm such a fanatic
 about saying a 
thing 'right' that
 the fear of
 being bad looms
 as large as the
 memory of my
 old man's
 scowling face.’

He knows the score
and so do I.

I dry off
with a warm towel
and spray deodorant 
and apply post
shave moisturiser.

I’ve no-one to
answer to and
no-one to
aspire to.

I roll with
the punches
and slip the big
shots when

My Californian
buddy would
be proud.

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