Wednesday, August 4, 2010

In Their Own Words - Pete

Hi, my name is Pete DiCampo. I'm a cop for the town of Bristol, Rhode Island. I've been on the force almost seven years and I love it. It's a great job and I love my hometown.

I'm single now, was married to Nancy for a couple years but things fell apart when she wanted kids and I didn't. Well, right then anyway. I had just joined the police force and was working these crazy shifts. It didn't seem the right way to raise a family. So we split. It was amicable.

On my days off I go see my mother and her husband and my grandmother in Connecticut. I play softball in a league on Thursday nights with other cops from surrounding communities. I like to fish for blues when they run off the coast in the fall. I jog every morning between 4:30 and 5.

That's how I met Genna. Well, let me rephrase that, that's how I re-met Genna. I went to school with her at St. Mary the Martyr. In fifth grade I tried to steal her history homework and she kind of hated me after that. I was on the baseball team with her cousin Robby and although we all sort of hung out, she wasn't really ever friendly to me.

Anyway, I jog every morning (when I'm not working nights) and Genna's uncle Sal owns a diner over on Franklin Street. I stop in to grab a coffee for my walk-down home. I've been doing this for a few years now and Sal and I have gotten pretty close.

I was on duty one morning and around 8:00 we get a call into the station there's a burglery in progress on Charles Street. I happen to know it's Sal's house so I take the call. Fortuna, his wife is scared there's a perp in the house upstairs but as I'm talking to her, there's a girl leaning over the second floor porch. I ask her to come down with some I.D. and I find out it's Genna. God, I haven't seen her in ten years. Well, come to find out, Fortuna's having these memory problems, looks like it's verging on Alzheimer's. I call Sal, he comes home and we straighten the whole mess out. (Fortuna's doing fine by the way.)

So, I'm sitting in my cruiser, filling out the paperwork and Genna comes out to thank me. God, she's so pretty. She hasn't changed one bit since we graduated. She thanks me for being so kind to Fortuna, (hell, I was just doing my job,) and I don't know what came over me, I asked her if she wanted to meet me at Billy's Beach Bar on the night of the 4th of July. It was always the place to be in year's past, kind of like New Year's Eve but without the shitty weather. Anyway, she said yes.

The next day, I go to grab my coffee from Sal at the diner and Genna is there. She's going to be working the diner while Sal takes Fortuna to the doctor for her tests, and then over the weekend while the other cook is away on vacation. Of course, I go for my coffee the next morning. Sal isn't there, so we go outside, have a little chat and then I kiss her. I can't help it. She's just so damn sweet. And she kissed me back. I ask her out for that night. She, unbelievably, says yes.

We go to the Clam Shack down on the Wharf and have dinner and conversation. I'm sitting there, listening to her talk and I'm dumbstruck. I can't think, I can't speak, I can't move. I fell in love with her. Right then and there. BLAM! Not falling, not think I'm falling, I fell. Hard, in love. We go down to the beach at Colt Park and walk in the water, romantic right? I mean, don't get me wrong, I can be as suave as the next guy but with her I'm just stupid. I fumble for a kiss, I trip her and she practically falls in the water. I can't get my head on straight. I can't get my moves to groove, if you know what I mean. She's tired, been up since 3:30 and has to do it again the next day, so I take her home. I give her a kiss goodnight but forget to ask her out again. Mache cazzo! How stupid can I be?

So there it is. I'm in love with Genna. Three short conversations, one not half bad date, and I want this girl to spend the rest of her life with me. Is that crazy or what? I mean, it's blowing my mind but I can't help it. She's just perfect, well, except for the fact she smokes, but that can be overlooked. For now. I don't have a clue how she feels about me, I guess she likes me, but I don't want to scare her off. I mean, this is crazy, right?

She's beautiful sure, but she's got this quality, deep down inside her, a goodness, a love for her family, that you don't really find anymore. She takes care of them in such a way, without pretense, without bullshit, just that love, man, that steady sense of quiet committment, it's a head rush. I know that whoever she loves, whoever she marries, that she'll put them first above all else. That man will be the luckiest guy in the world. And I want it to be me.

So, I've got a question for you -- Do you think I should tell Genna how I really feel? That I want to marry her. Or do you think I sound like a stalker? Never mind, I sound like a stalker.

Oh, and check this, she's leaving for this great new job back in Delaware at the end of next week so I only have, like a week and a half, to hopefully, make her fall in love with me back. What am I going to do? I don't think sending her flowers is going to cut it. Do men even do that anymore?


Ted Cross said...

Pet peeve alert! Sorry, but I have never understood people getting married and only then finding out that one wants kids and one doesn't. That, along with a whole lot of other things, should be well known BEFORE getting married! /rant

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I don't send flowers, but I do bring them home on occasion.

Piedmont Writer said...

Ted - I'm sure I don't have to explain the intricacies of the female mind to you. Pete had been in the Navy for three years. When he got home, of course Nancy wanted to get pregnant right away, but Pete had just started on the police force and was working nights, sometimes doubles and then traffic duty to try and make ends meet. Rookie cops don't make much. He didn't feel it was in their best interest to have children AT THAT TIME. A rookie cop pulls shit duty for at least two years. He ended up with second shift for a long time and Nancy just couldn't see why Pete didn't want kids. It's not that Pete didn't want kids, he did, he just thought that they should wait until he got on day shift. Nancy didn't WANT to wait. She wanted kids NOW. So, it was Nancy that wanted out of the marriage because she wanted kids. I also think she had something going on with Billy Warren before Pete came back from the Navy but I'm not absolutely sure. They did get married awful quick as soon as she and Pete filed for divorce.

I hope that explains it for you Ted. There's a lot behind the minds of men (and women) and writers that you just don't see. It's all backstory that you will (hopefully) never see.

Piedmont Writer said...

Alex -- Why don't you send flowers? It's awfully sweet and women swoon when they receive them. Give them flowers and then take them home.

Ted Cross said...

I have two brothers (twins) who are cops. Yeah, I know what they went through in those first years. Nothing is perfect, so there will always be sad situations, but boy do I wish people would put off marriage until they were really, honestly ready for it!

Justine Dell said...

Oh man, this is so neat! Flowers! A girl loves flowers! But not the standard roses--something different. Gerber Daisies!


Susan Fields said...

Yes, send flowers!

This is great stuff, Anne! I can't wait to see how it all works out.

~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

This is brilliant! I didn't hear YOU, Anne; I heard PETE. It was like he was sitting across the desk from me. Bravo, sister. This is excellent!

And, Ted's opinion is valid 'cause it's his feeling, but I don't agree with him, at all. I met my husband and knew that night that I wanted to marry him. He says the same thing. In fact, we were talking about what we wanted out of our marriage within a month of meeting each other. Of course, we did want the same things, so that helped. By three months into the relationship, he proposed. Ring and all. (That was fifteen years ago!) It happens. And it's soooo awesome when it does!

Can't wait to have the other cast members talk to me!

Lydia Kang said...

Hmm, maybe instead of bringing flowers to her, he should bring her to the flowers. Like a field of wildflowers. Or Hawaii. I'd take both, but I'd prefer Hawaii.

Summer said...

Love it! And now I forgive you for jerking me around last week. :)

Patti said...

That's awesome, totally get a feel for the character and the story. Personally I'm not a flower person, but if Genna is then sending flowers is great.

Piedmont Writer said...

Justine -- I still haven't figured out what Pete's going to do. I think Alex might be on to something.

Susan -- Thank you. Wait til Friday!

Nicole -- Thanks, that was what I was trying to get across. I hope it works well with all the others. E.Elle did such a fabulous job doing her series, and I was so jealous, I'm trying to copy cat her. I suppose, as none of you actually knows how I talk in real life, you may or may not "hear" me. I hope not.

And yes, Ted's opinion is valid. Absolutely. But people change. One day they want kids, the next they want to wait. It happens. Especially in this day and age with everything so crazy.

And I knew you fell for your husband right away, so I know it can be done and work out.

Lydia -- So funny. Wouldn't we all like a field of wildflowers in Hawaii? I don't think that's what Pete's going for though. He's more traditional.

Summer -- LOL. I knew you'd forgive me.

Patti -- Thanks Patti. I don't think Genna would refuse flowers, I just don't know if that's enough from Pete's end to satisfy her.

Bossy Betty said...

Genna needs to take the flowers and just take Pete for who he is.

Great writing!

Talli Roland said...

I liked this, Anne! I feel like I got to know Pete a little better. And I love his photo - matches how I pictured him in my mind.

Anonymous said...

I don't know why you say you have trouble with voice, Anne. You seem to do just fine. I could hear Pete and totally overlook that you were writing for him. Good job.

I really think you came into it at the end of the post; it sounds more natural because he's thinking out loud and not just recanting a story. That gave it an added level of emotion and personality.

I've only received flowers once and it made me feel super special... and also made me wonder why I never received them again. Maybe I stopped being special, who knows?

Annnnnnyway. Well done! I'm looking forward to meeting the other members of your cast. :o)

Crimey said...


I'm torn about what Pete should do. He can send the flowers but he'll have to do more than that to get her to give up a job and stay there with him (if that's what he wants). I guess long distance could work.

As a reader, I want it to work out for him. Good job presenting his voice; he's very sympathic.

This is an awesome series btw.

Piedmont Writer said...

Betty -- But we don't know if Pete's going to give her flowers yet.

Talli -- That's the problem with Pete. I fell totally in love with him the first second I dreamed him up. Then when I found his picture, well....

E.Elle -- Thank you Darling. And if you send me your address, I will send you tons and tons of flowers because you are totally special to me.

Crimey -- Yeah, see that's the whole thing, he needs to do something, but what? Flowers are nice, but he needs to get his act together and see if she does feel the same way about him as he does about her. Long distance never works. At least it didn't for me (3 times). We'll see what happens.

Portia said...

This is awesome. I love, love, love, the voice you've injected here, and it feels so ... personal. In a really good way. Bravo!

Piedmont Writer said...

Portia -- Thanks so much. I tried really hard to sound like a guy. And how's it going for you? Did you put your ms. back together again?

Shelley Sly said...

I loved this! Well, you know I like Pete already, but I like him even more now. I could really hear his voice in this post. Great job! Can't wait for the next one! :)

Piedmont Writer said...

Shelley -- Thanks, It means alot coming from one of my biggest fans. I'd hate to disappoint you.

notesfromnadir said...

Even though it's coming from a guy who's not a professional writer, it has a really good flow to it. It's like he's inspired & in love & that's why he's writing it.

Why bother w/ flowers? Maybe a plant in a terra cotta pot w/ a bow on it. Or a box of Godiva's!

Liza said...

Love the guy's voice although there are a few places I'm not sure it sounds like a man, for example: "but she's got this quality, deep down inside her, a goodness, a love for her family, that you don't really find anymore. She takes care of them in such a way, without pretense, without bullshit" Somehow, I don't feel a man would be as detailed relating to the love and the goodness..."bullshit" works though...That said, I get a real feel for the character and I'm looking forward to reading more. Excellent.

Piedmont Writer said...

Lisa -- Thanks. I'm sure he'll send her flowers but I have to think of something else. Something huge, over the top to convince her to fall in love with him. I need some inspiration.

Liza -- Yeah, I wasn't sure about that either but as I wrote it I heard the actor's voice speaking it in my head, and it seemed like it might work so I left it. (I L-U-R-V Chris O'Donnell.) Yeah, bullshit works just about anywhere. Thanks.

WritingNut said...

Wow, I love it. Very authentic and has really great voice! I really felt his emotion :)

Piedmont Writer said...

Writing Nut -- Thank you. Very much. I hope you come back and see the rest of them.

Lola Sharp said...

I agree with Ted, BTW, about marriage.
(and my husband still gives me flowers. I love him.)

Also---you have NO trouble with voice, Anne.

And, last--I'm still team Tony. ;)


Lola Sharp said...

Oh, and I'm sorry I haven't been by this week...I thought you were taking the week off to write for your self-imposed deadline.

I did read the last couple of posts I missed. I try to never miss any of your posts. :)

your friend

Roland D. Yeomans said...

All men do not see life the same. Some are reflective and deep. Those usually aren't drawn to the military or to police work though.

Voice is hard to get right consistently when you're writing in the mind of the opposite sex.

Great job, Anne. Thanks for the great comments on my blog, Roland

Donna Hole said...

Sorry Pete; can't tell you what to do about Genna because I don't know the other characters yet.

But I'm not one to advise holding onto such deep feelings either. If you think she likes you, better get yourself in the running for her affections - or she'll leave you behind.

Flowers are always a plus.


Guinevere said...

This is neat - thanks for letting us meet your characters. Pete sounds like a great guy. :)

LR said...

That's an awesome idea to have blog posts in your characters' voices. Love it.

Piedmont Writer said...

Lola -- I was supposed to take a week off but I came up with this brilliant idea instead. It's always nice when you come by. xoxoxoxo

Roland -- I don't think men as a species are deep to begin with, but sometimes there are one or two. I've known two. (In real life) Thanks for stopping by.

Donna -- It's what I've been saying too but Pete, for being all macho and a cop, is kind of a scaredy cat, with good reason I think so we'll see what happens.

Guin -- So glad you stopped by. I wish I could meet Pete in person.

LR -- Thanks, stop by for the next two weeks, they're all here.

Damyanti said...

I thought this series had promise, and I was right :)

I love the voices, looking forward to the next one.

If/when I write a novel, I'm sure going to do this exercise on my blog/s. I do them now in my notebooks for my short stories, but that is usually at a stage when I can't figure the character out!

The Words Crafter said...

Wow! I don't know where to start. First, you picked a good actor for the part. I could hear him in my head. Second, it seemed so natural and sincere. Third, you presented his heart so...I can't find a 'single' word. He stumbled, backed up, answered his own questions...he was so REAL, and so male (at least from a woman's point of view). Very well done, I loved it! I can't wait to read the others!

February Grace said...


Finally, I'm treating myself with some Friday night entertainment- catching up on all your characters in the series if my eyes hold out. What a way to start.

I love this: "Not falling, not think I'm falling, I fell."

The character's personality comes through so clearly here, I felt like I was having a conversation with a real person. I could imagine talking with him over coffee (or maybe a beer) while he told the stories of his life.

Blockbuster stuff, Anne. You're a wonder and I bow to your writerly genius.