I sat in Endoscopy, my nose shoved in a book, while I waited for the ass doctor to look in Fluffy’s ass. I heard the door open, close, open, close. Couples murmured as the patient filled out forms and the driver commented on how neat it was that the doctor uses those restaurant pagers to let you know he’s done shoving a camera in whichever orifice is questionable.

“You sign here.”

“I’ll fill that out for you.”

“Here’s a check for the co-pay.”

“My friend went back three hours ago. They have to laser cysts out of his stomach. I hope he’s okay.”

“Is that coffee any good?”


Stupid idiot, asking a stupid question. I never drank anything out of a Bunn coffee maker that didn’t taste like a waterlogged ashtray. Asstray.

“Pardon me.”

Large man – in the tall, muscly meaning of the word – sat down next to me. Carhartt head-to-toe. He wore a class ring. I couldn’t tell what school. He laughed at a bit on whatever gig Kathie Lee has now. Seth Rogan was naked. Later, something about an anaconda not eating someone and how everyone was bummed out about it.

I shifted and then sprawled my knees apart, crossed my ankles. I can take up space, too. Although, I’dĀ like to take up less space, honestly.

I get back into the book. I was buying a red Fiero with Miriam Black when the smell hit me. I reacted. I tried not to, but I couldn’t help the watering eyes, the burning nostrils. I thought the woman across from me was wearing enough perfume to cover the scent of a rotting corpse but apparently not.

She waddled down the aisle, sat down catty-cornered to me. It came in waves – the piss and shit smell of someone who is dying. I don’t know how else to describe it. This is the smell of nursing homes. No matter what they do, they can never cover the smell of old people who piss and shit themselves. Her name is Candy. She can’t be any less than 60, and her name is Candy, and I can smell what they will find when they stick the camera up her ass.

And hours later, I can’t get it out of my nose.


Summer is time off, or so everyone who doesn’t teach believes. As a math professor and an author, that is absolutely not the case. Even though I am not teaching summer school, I am doing research. I am reorganizing material for fall classes. I am building and improving what and how I teach. I am also polishing manuscripts, sending query letters to agents, and trying to work out how I want to end the Camellia series.

I think, perhaps if I write this all down here, I will remember it when I get lazy. Maybe I’ll remember this when I just want to sit down and play Sims, Diablo III, or DDO all day.

Yeah, maybe…or maybe I’ll play today and work tomorrow. There is plenty of time to prepare for fall.

and then she starved and had to depend on the ants to save her, figuratively of courseĀ