Thursday, April 27, 2006


Part Eight

Carie was dead.

She was pretty sure that this was the only proper explaination. But there was a lingering question, outside of her grasp of the known universe, the relationship of the soul to organic flesh and bone. How could she know truth at all? How could she reason out her own demise or prove to herself that she did in fact exist? It was all very much out of her grasp. She engaged in what could only be described as a short reprise of all modern philosophical considerations on the subject, quickly finding that none of them accurately described the current quandry.
It had been very hot outside. She had been very thirsty, for a very long time.

There was no telling what had happened.

But you are more fortunate than Carie.

You have a narrator who writes from the third person, and the third person omniscient at that! I know everything, and can tell you all. Isn't that lovely?

However pleasant that knowledge has just made you feel, I do have to warn you. Carie, alive or dead, is in terrible danger. If she does make it out of this dreadful place, she won't be very happy at all. And knowing how stressful human life can be for all of you, I have to tell you, you may be better off forgetting Carie altogether. You don't know her very well after all. If you passed her on the street, I'm certain you wouldn't recognize her at all. It would be like meeting your hairstylist at Target, you wouldn't know her from any other customer. And it all would be rather embarassing for the both of you.

I'll give you some time to think it over.


You'd like to know?

Well, okay. But don't say I haven't warned you.


Part Seven

The recovery had been almost painless; Toby's new kidney was functioning fine. He was thrilled and honored to find that another patient had just given him a kidney on the spur of the moment.

All his life he'd been restricted because of his health. Now he could climb Everest. He could tour Europe. He could sky-dive. Life was wonderful!

Except, he really didn't want to do any of those things. Toby knew he'd be much more comfortable sitting at home. He would really rather keep things as they were. He liked the bus, riding his bike to work would only make him sweaty, and he'd really rather not bump into people walking to the office. And he liked the mask the doctor had made him wear over his nose and mouth. It kept him from catching colds. Besides, Nepal was too far away. He'd have to ride in a plane, and everyone knew how sick you could get breathing all that recycled air. And how was he supposed to take his morning and evening showers at the top of a mountain?

He would just rent a documentary. Over the internet, so he wouldn't have to compete with other customers for a copy. Then he could cut up a few vegetables--organic, of course--and watch it in peace.

Toby grabbed his jacket. It was only around 70 degrees outside, he wouldn't want to catch a chill.

The real question was what to do first. His parents were dead. His wife had divorced him years earlier. She was dating her yoga instructor now. They had had no children. He had always found them to be unhygenic.

It would be great, he thought, to meet the woman who had done this for him. She deserved a personal thank you.

Toby turned and walked toward the bus stop. It would only be a three-minute ride from his house to the hospital.


Victoria was worried. She'd been home from the hospital for a few days, but the pressing sense of concern had never left her. She seemed to have forgotten something important.

Carie hadn't called yet. Typical. Her daughter had no sympathy for her nerves. There were no letters, no messages on the answering machine, no e-mails, no telegrams...

Carie had been in Alexandria for two weeks without a word. Carie's flight had landed, but the airport insisted she hadn't collected her luggage. How could her daughter be so inconsiderate?
The doorbell rang, Victoria answered it, hoping it was Carie.

"Hello my darling," Drake was somewhat disappointed. Drake was doting, but he seemed unconcerned and uninteresed about Carie.

"Come in," she stood aside as he swept through the door.

"Dinner?" he smiled.

"No, I don't think so Drake," Victoria hung her head. "I want to find Carie. Will you go with me to Alexandria? She needs to know how worried she's made me! I have to tell her how inconvenient it was for me to leave right now. I mean, look!" Victoria gestured to her spotless living room. "Can't you see how much I have to do?"

"You know I cannot leave the hospital, Darling," he cooed. "You'll have to take care of it on your own."

Victoria was disgusted. This was her love affair? How droll.

"She is an adult, isn't she? I should think she could take care of herself. And you can't think of risking illness so soon after your surgery, Victoria darling. I wouldn't want to have to operate again," he looked at her wistfully.

Victoria thought over the situation. There were terrorists out there. And tribal warfare. And scorpions. And she had heard of the Egyptian Asp. Who hadn't? She wouldn't want to end up like Cleopatra. She examined Dr. Ramore. It was a pity she was so dreadfully ill, in so much danger, he would have made such a handsome Mark Antony...

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Fear and Self-loathing in North Manchester

Alas, I am an absolute idiot.

What can I do?

My character seems to be fixed.

I have just realized what an unbelievably insane thing I have done.

I volunteered to deliver a speech. And not just any speech! I am speaking at the HONOR'S CONVOCATION! Or, as I like to call it, the Festival of Horrors.

Let's chat about public speaking.

Every time I speak in front of my fellow human beings, I am overwhelmed with uncontrollable panic. The last time this occurred (while I was doing a photography presentation) I had an out-of-body experience. For those of you who don't know what this is, an out-of-body experience is when you float away from your body (hopefully not your soon-to-be corpse) and have the blissful realization that you are seperate from it. You feel horribly sorry for whoever it is standing there stammering on and on, but, as Vonnegut would say, so it goes. It took a full six or seven minutes of talking Monday before I returned to Being. I think that the philosophers who theorized about the human soul must have had panic attacks too.

I am a people-pleaser. Yes, I will bake you a cake. Yes I will ice it. Yes I will drive through three states and take a plane into the heart of Africa in order to deliver it. Yes I will track down your long lost third cousin twice removed who lives there, and whose name you do not know, in order to deliver this cake. Yes I will complete these tasks in time to edit your paper for [INSERT ANY CLASS YOU LIKE HERE] in time for you to turn it in on time. No, it isn't any trouble. I promise. No, I mean it. I really feel like I can do it! It will be TONS of fun! I can't wait!

So I have to develop an idea and present it at convo. For you non-MC people, convo is basically an all-school assembly. So everyone I know will be staring at me when I reveal what a hopeless case I am.

I am a trickster, you see. Somehow I have the ability to make everyone and anyone who meets me come away with the impression that I am educated, poised, maybe even talented. I have been awarded scholarships, fellowships based on this ability. Luckily, most of these people never see the true me. They never know that I am in fact a dissappointment. I must be a skilled liar to achieve this. But my lack of honesty is easier to believe than the possibility that I retain a shred of intellect, talent, skill.

When I humiliate myself, I will undoubtedly return to the cycle of panic attacks which plaged me in September and January-March. Know that I have warned you, and understand the development of obsessive-compulsive behavior, such as re-cleaning the Lounge, which will ensue. At least the horror will take place before finals, so that I will be able to channel the mania into studying for ETA and European History. If, however, the panic is too great, you may be seeing me on campus for academic reasons rather than just so I can add a teaching certificate to my English major. "So it goes."

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

SuperMegaActionYou'veNeverSeenAnythingLikeThisAndNeverWillAgain Romance

Part Six

Victoria awoke from a short nap, warm in her hospital bed, and realized with a jolt that her daughter Carie was dead.

This may have been more of a shock to her if she had not fallen asleep with her chin resting on the morphine button the doctors had given her. Had Doctor Drake Ramore been less attentive, the level of morphine released would have been lower, and she would have been more conscious of reality. Perhaps then she would have felt more horror, sorrow, or shock at her newfound insight.

But she didn't.

And if she had been on less medicine, she may never have known anything had happened to Carie, and that would have been most unfortunate. Victoria had always been an attentive mother. She truly experienced all Carie's pain as if it was her own.

But right now she was on a lot of morphine. And demoral. And everything seemed pretty okay. If she didn't hurt, Carie certainly couldn't.

And maybe, in Victoria's reality, that morphine and demoral was helping Carie feel much better, wherever she was.

Victoria closed her eyes and went back to sleep.

It seemed the most logical solution.

SuperMegaActionYou'veNeverSeenAnythingLikeThisAndNeverWillAgain Romance

Part Six

Victoria awoke from a short nap, warm in her hospital bed, and realized with a jolt that her daughter Carie was dead.

This may have been more of a shock to her if she had not fallen asleep with her chin resting on the morphine button the doctors had given her. Had Doctor Drake Ramore been less attentive, the level of morphine released would have been lower, and she would have been more conscious of reality. Perhaps then she would have felt more horror, sorrow, or shock at her newfound insight.

But she didn't.

And if she had been on less medicine, she may never have known anything had happened to Carie, and that would have been most unfortunate. Victoria had always been an attentive mother. She truly experienced all Carie's pain as if it was her own.

But right now she was on a lot of morphine. And demoral. And everything seemed pretty okay. If she didn't hurt, Carie certainly couldn't.

And maybe, in Victoria's reality, that morphine and demoral was helping Carie feel much better, wherever she was.

Victoria closed her eyes and went back to sleep.

It seemed the most logical solution.

The Price of Gas

I'm not going to pretend that I have tons of disposable income. In fact, as a college student, I don't really have any. My decision to commute was supposed to take care of financial issues.

This has not been the case. Over the last few years, I've seent the price of gas triple in my area--that means while I could drive for a week on ten dollars in 2002, I'm now spending thirty.

I have become gas-savy. I figure, if I save a little money on gas, I can spend it on music, or a new CD player for my car. I call this Economics. In Economics, buying cheap food means I can buy expensive shoes and still be saving money. This is called Math. If I save all the reciepts from purchases with my debit card and cram them in a box, I am Balancing My Checkbook. I have always been good at this sort of thing. It's a pity the bank doesn't use my system.
I have found the most expensive gas station is in Denver, the next less is in Roann, and the cheapest is on the corner of 114 and 15 on my way to school. Sometimes Peru beats this station, but since I would have to use gas to drive out of my way to buy Peru gas, it wouldn't be too Smart to do that.

Monday I needed gas. I needed it bad. Mom had borrowed my car (again) and had pushed the limits (again), allowing the little white arrow to go beneath the little red dash beneath the E. I begged my little gray Honda to suck up as many fumes as it could on the way to school, to use those for what little energy it needed, so that I could pull it into a parking spot and let it relax. Then I would be safe all day, and I could get gas on the way home. That was the plan.

But gas was $2.89 a gallon in North Manchester.

Assuming I was going to put twenty dollars into the gas tank, and ONLY TWENTY, buying gas in town would have gotten me a measely 6.9 gallons. See? I used Math. And I determined this was Bad. Very Bad. No way, I thought. It would be Smart to go somewhere cheaper.

I would go to the cheap place, I thought. It would be cheaper. That would be very Smart.

I sang to my MP3 player as I drove, passing abandoned fields and decaying old farm houses with chipped paint. My windows were down. I had achieved an acceptable amount of sound by turning my radio volume to maximum, pressing the tape deck deep into the dashboard, and turning the volume on the MP3 up to maximum. Now the music was about as loud as a normal human speaking voice. I had it good--one whole speaker was working! It was a good day to drive. I pondered hitting a pothole on purpose so that I could improve the second speaker's sound, but decided against it. Not when it was already working so well!

I pulled into the gas station, still singing. By this time, it was to The Mamas and the Papas. I positioned the car for a smooth entry, with the correct side of the car next to the pump. I was ready to buy my gas. This was good.

I don't know what made me look up when I did. I had been turning off the MP3 to put it in my purse, and the music wasn't off yet. I couldn't have heard the shouting then...

I clicked off my radio when I saw them, all of the men, all of the rifles, all pointed at the other man, the one in the red pickup. Some of them were in police uniforms, some were not, but all were very angry and all were very armed. It was the first time I had ever seen a county policeman with anything more than a holster. Now they all had assault rifles. And I had the foresight to push hard on the brakes.

It was a standoff.

I made the most insane U-turn of my life, in a fervor of mania, knowing that I would be perfectly content to abandon my miserable, fuel-deprived car and walk home instead of venturing into that situation.

If I had continued to sing "Monday, Monday", I would have been on the wrong side of that conflict, in the perfect place to get shot at by the people with the big guns.

And that, my friends, is too high a price to pay for fuel.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


Part Five

Eduardo cursed. He spat on the ground and yelled toward the heavens. It was many hours before any of his companions dared to confront him.

"You have a phone call," they had sent the youngest of their group, so that Euduardo could kill him without causing any real inconvenience.

Eduardo went inside and lifted the reciever.

"Hello," he listened to the reply.

"So you have failed, Eduardo," the distant voice rasped. Eduardo hated calls from overseas. It was so hard to discern the voices from the rushing noises in the background.

"I lost her, yes, but not for long. Eduardo does not fail."

"See that you do not," continued the voice. "Or I will have to pay him a visit."
Eduardo gulped.

"Sir, I will succeed. You will not be dissapointed! One little photographer is, after all, not so hard to keep track of in the desert. Especially when she has no water. I will have her ensnared before tomorrow morning."

"Do not make promises you are incapable of keeping. You do not know her as I do. She is...tenacious." the voice snapped, leaving Eduardo in silence.

He dropped the phone and leaned against the wall. It was many more hours before his comrades dared approach him once more.


At first, Carie did not even know where she was going. The road signs were scarce enough, and those she could find were written in Arabic, which Carie knew by sight, even if she could not read it.

So she drove through the night, the morning, and into dinner-time. At least, until the van ran out of gas. Well, she thought, at least I know this isn't Iraq. There'd be plenty of Americans taking and selling oil there.

She knew she could not stay where she was; she would die. The sun was her greatest enemy now. It would surely kill her. But it would kill her to walk too, without water. And to stay still waiting for Eduardo too kill her was out of the question.

Carie had always been a woman of action. She opened the door of the van and started walking.

The heat of the desert swallowed her whole.


Part Four

When Carie awoke, the van had stopped. Eduardo was talking to the driver, instructing him to go back inside. Carie saw no windows, she didn't know where inside was. She didn't really want to find out.

Suddenly, the back doors of the van swung open.

"Good morning, my desert rose," Eduardo said. "Come come, step over the threshold."

Using a kick she had learned in Karate class, she knocked Eduardo to the ground. She ran to the front of the van, leapt into the driver's seat, and turned the key in the ignition.

"Wait!" screamed Eduardo after her. "I'm trying to kidnap you!"

Carie slammed her foot on the gas pedal.

* * *

"Good morning, Victoria."

Victoria opened her eyes, "Oh! Doctor, I didn't hear you come in!"

"I have been here since the surgery ended. I could not bear to leave you. You look so peaceful when you sleep, like an angel," he breathed.

"How is the child? Did the surgery go well?"


"The little girl!" Victoria's eyes filled yet again with tears.

"Oh!" Ramore smiled warmly. "She's made a complete recovery."

"So soon!"

"I'm a very good doctor."

"Of course," the tears vanished. Ramore leaned over her, his dark, tragic eyes filling her vision. "Doctor, my husband just died."

"I will wait for you. Forever if I must."

Victoria was in shock. How could this be? What a dramatic, shocking situation! But her husband would not wan her to be alone forever. He wouldn't want her to be alone very long at all. Maybe just a few days. A weekend. Overnight would suffice. And she'd done that already.

How scandalous it would be, for her to run away with Dr. Drake Ramore...
She reached out and took the doctor's hand.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Not Guilty By Reason of Complete Uselessness...

April 17, 2006

"I have a question," the child said, eyes wide and deceptively innocent as he sat beside me in Cordier, while the first strains of Dracula's musical score began. "How are we supposed to get home?" I tried to mask my horror as the boy stared up at me. I had a question too. How on EARTH did this happen to me?

I had been sitting in the Lounge, reading Jen's blog, when I caught a boy with crooked glasses and his young brother staring at me from the hallway.

This was not so terribly out of the ordinary. I am, after all, used to being the kind of (and I quote) "Freak of Nature" which draws the gaze of perfect strangers from time to time. However, I was unaccustomed to this taking place in the Lounge, where people know me well enough to just laugh at me, or avoid me at all costs.

These children took my deer-in-the-headlights expression as an invitation to enter the room, "Hey," the older one began. They thought they were cool. Really cool. Middle schoolers, I supposed.

"Hi..." I replied, avoiding eye contact. If I ignore them, they'll go away...I thought.

But Krystal was there, and Heather was there, and no one heard my reasoning, as none of us are even remotely telepathic. The boys sat, they talked, they felt like college students. Hooray.

Meanwhile, I was hoping to dissolve into the floor.

You see, there is something about me, something strange. My mother has it, my grandmother had it. Who knows what it is! Suffice it to say, we send off a kind of beacon, the brainwave of motherhood, which welcomes small children of all makes and models to our side, where they expect care and responsibility to wash over them. I have a target painted on my head, which their underdeveloped minds find alluring. Heather, I think, has this too.

But unlike Heather, I know nothing about children. Truthfully, I dislike most of them.

And these children, they wanted something.

They were looking for a concert of some kind, and expected us to know where it was. Not only did I not care about the concert--I was waiting for DRACULA! I also wanted nothing to do with the responsibility of making sure they found it.

So when the time came for me to leave for my play, I got up and left.

Becky had arrived by then. She was one of the many people I had pestered into coming with me. Neither of us were making eye contact with the children, and Becky had wisely chosen not to speak to them at all. I should have been so lucky.

You see, these were some of the many children I have encountered in my lifetime who get little or no attention from anyone. They had latched on to the Lounge's occupants out of loneliness. I felt awful for them.

Becky and I had gotten to the exit of Winger before Heather asked us to wait. The kids wanted to come.

So ten minutes later, after moving several times to ensure the littlest one had a seat where he could see, we were ready for the play to start. That was when the little one, eyes wide, asked me a question more frightening than a room full of vampires.

"How are we supposed to get home?"

I don't know. I thought. How did you get here? Do you have parents? Shouldn't you have considered this earlier? All this was followed by a resounding thought of, I'M NOT DRIVING YOU!

Krystal and Heather were kind. They found Torrance to see if he would drive them and their bikes in his truck. But they didn't have the kid staring at them from the seat next to them, continuing to ask the same question, followed by "When will this be over?" I continued to ask again and again, "Can't you call home?" But home had no phone.

This was not the evening I wanted.

The older boy finally made his brother be silent. The play proceeded. It was lovely. But the kids were still there.

If I took the kids home, I would be taking them without their parents' permission. There's no telling how they would have taken that. And if, by chance, someone was at this point, hours after the curfew I had just heard about seconds before, was looking for them, if the police had been called, I would be found and possibly seen as a kidnapper. And where were the parents? Didn't they care where their kids were, what they were doing? What kind of parents were they? And what if something happened to the kids while I wasn't driving them home? Would I be blamed for not stepping in? The older boy finally told his brother what they were doing, despite Torrance's offer. The kids rode their bikes home. But not before raising my anxiety level far above that which is healthy. And once my anxiety gets to a certain point, it stays there. That is, unless it grows to a new height. Since that night, I have had three panic attacks and indigestion which makes eating a pain. Sleepless nights have accompanied these other symptoms.

And as we all know, my anxiety has only GROWN what with the police v. pickup event. And having to deal with the Registrar. And the Honor's Convocation. And a botched photography presentation. Need I go on?

I have become an absolute mess. It makes it hard to set up plans for next year, and even harder to deal with day to day concerns, like what I want to eat at lunch, or what to do if my car windshield starts to leak rain onto my leg. So, friends, that's why I'm not in the Lounge right now. I'm in a quiet place, listening to good music and trying to relax a little before they have to drag me off and hospitalize me.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

SuperMegaActionYouveNeverSeenAnythingLikeThisAndNeverWillAgain Romance

Part Three

The airport was busy, filled with businessmen, happy couples, and sticky-fingered children with their exasperated parents. Carie dropped off her baggage and walked over to the terminal. She flew often, it was part of her job as a photographer, but it was different without her father dropping her off, or flying her himself.

The flight was much smoother than flying with her father. There was almost no turbulence, and no near-death experiences. It was nice to sit back and relax instead of helping her father pull out of a nosedive.

"Miss Stouf!" she turned. "Miss Stouf! it is good to see you. I am Eduardo. I was sent to escort you from the airport."

"I wasn't told that anyone would take me to the hotel."

"Miss Stouf! We just met....but if you wish, arrangements can be made...." he looked her up and down. Before Carie could respond, Eduardo continued. "Please," he clapped his hands. "Come come, follow me."

Carie followed, thinking to herself, Eduardo wasn't an Arabic name, it was Hispanic. They got into a black, unmarked van and drove away. Time droned on and on until hours had passed.
"Shouldn't we be there by now?" inquired Carie.

"Ha Ha!" Eduardo took a handful of his hair and pulled, revealing a shiny, bald head. "I am Eduardo, Neo-Nazi extaordinaire! I was sent to kidnap you!"

"Oh come on," groaned Carie.

"Really!" Eduardo looked hurt. "I worked very hard to plan this. You could at least pretend to be scared."

"Better luck next time."

Enraged, Eduardo struck Carie, and the world around her faded into blackness.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


I hope my five readers are enjoying the changes. I certainly am. Much better this way, I think. And never assume that just because there are only four of you (the number drops by the moment) I don't truly appreciate the fact that your lives equal or surpass mine in boredom.

Why else would you be spending your time reading this page? Seriously. That makes me feel better about myself. And as some of you know, that is a very good thing.

I am currently in the Communications building, and, yet again, it smells like human feces. I, in a way, feel sorry for all the comm majors who must endure this horror on a daily basis. They can fix this after they fix the Admin building, on account of the fact that it's falling down.


No one told you that story?


Well, okay, I'll tell you.

It started at eleven o'clock. The stairs were creaking in the spring breeze (they do that, the building shakes) and the visiting prospective students were tripping over the hill in the floorboards (this was caused by the linking of two buildings into one Super-Structure, without the benefit of an architect and with some sinking in the foundations of said Super-Structure). I climbed the leaning stairs, which are slightly safer than the bowed and slippery stairs and massively less safe than the stairs by Wampler, which are enormously less convenient and possibly haunted. While doing this, I made certian to stand on the side closest to the wall, to ensure that a stair collapse would leave me closest to the least tilting portion of the stairway and therefore able to land on top of the wreckage, when the stairs collapse. When the stairs collapse.

Dr. Angelos is, by far, the sole teacher on campus who everyone adores. There is not a soul who would warn you away from his classes or his Jan term treks across Europe, despite the trials associated with Delta Airlines which some of us have experienced. Suprisingly, this does not vary amony those who have failed his classes or those who have passed with flying colors. All of us adore Dr. Angelos, his unique teaching style, his veiled insults directed at our nation's current leadership, and his willingness to aknowledge the gaps in his and our educations.

I had an Angelos class that day. So did my friend Andrew. He is tall, and has a beautiful singing voice. He is also much taller than I, and does not resemble a toothpick, as I have been accused of in the past. He has an easy way of lowering himself into the desks on campus, a mannerism which would give me compound bruises on my posterior (as well as some "mystery bruises" on my legs, back, and elbows). So as we entered the class, I carefully slid into the desk, easing my eighty-year-old-joints-on-a-twenty-one-year-old's body into the chair which would cause me discomfort for the next hour or so. Andrew collapsed into his own chair.

And a rumble echoed out from the once proud Admin building, a shudder of long-forgotten pain, the remnent of decades of abuse directed at it and its foundations, a plea for mercy as yet another student neglected its agonies.

We paused.

It is to be noted that the wall in this particular room is home to a particularly large crack. This crack has been the object of some concern for several people over the years, and since only a few of them thought to mention this concern, and none of them were in possession of the funds or desire to facilitate repairs on it, the solution which the lack of options afforded the college was a coat of white paint spread liberally over the offending fracture. It may have been thought that this attempt at disguise would distract from the growing knowledge that this building will indeed collapse at any time. But no matter the object, the crack proved itself superior by simply allowing itself to grow and break through the paint, which was, after all, not any kind of adhesive.

Andrew, possibly thinking, Heck no, I don't weigh that much. Really. A person would think HE would have made the wall shake. Not ME. And was that the wall. No. Probably not. No, that was something they did as a joke on the stairs. Or was it? Better check, stood and repeated his earlier motion.

The building, yet again, cried out in despair.

It became evident, at that point, that Andrew, far from overweight as he is, had caused the outcry.

It seemed as if he was beginnig to grasp this, to understand. But a part of him preferred it not to be himself that had caused the horrid noise. I could tell he was about to test it again.

"Wait," I found myself saying. "Wait until Dr. Angelos comes. If the building collapses then, at least the college will put up a plaque where our mangled bodies are discovered instead of just some candlelight vigil or something."

I want a plaque, if I die somewhere interesting, or tragically. Is it too much to ask?

I'm thinking of having one made up now, with something witty engraved on it. Something like, "She got what she deserved" or "Kind and loving daughter, sister, and friend (but her death was certainly more interesting than the above)."

Then there would be grisly murder tours around where they found me, just like in London.

SuperMegaActionYouveNeverSeenAnythingLikeThisAndNeverWillAgain Romance

Part Two

The emergancy crew bandaged Victoria's head. Carie knew her mother would be fine, but her loss was so great. Carie did not know if her mother could go on.

"Oh Carie, how will I go on?"

"I wish Daddy were here, Mother," Carie sat on the edge of her mother's bed. "Do you remember when I was little and complained about being sick? He'd say, 'Have some of Daddy's Medicine, Honey,'" Carie laughed. "By the way, I have an AA meeting tonight, I'll have to call and cancel."

"Go home, Carie."


"No, really. Go home," Victoria smiled weakly. "You need to pack. I need rest. Staying here won't bring your father home."

"Okay," Victoria watched as Carie left.

"Hello, Mrs. Stouf?" Victoria wiped tears from her face. "I'm Doctor Drake Ramore," the doctor was Victoria's age, and handsome. Perhaps her husband wouldn't mind...

Victoria shook that thought from her mind. Her husband wasn't even cold in the ground.

* * *

Doctor Drake Ramore was an emergancy surgeon. He hadn't always been. When he'd been younger, he'd been rough. After knifing a few of his fellow street kids, he had realized that he needed to straighten up and make something of himself. His real love was stabbing people, and as a surgeon, he could do that and get paid.

Victoria didn't need surgery, though, all she'd needed was a few stitches. But as beautiful as Dr. Drake found Victoria--and he was certain she found him handsome as well--he was certain that she would opt to stay a little longer, if he requested it.

"My dear, let me ask you something. There is a little girl in the hospital who desperatly needs a kidney. She will die very soon if she does not find a donor. When I did your blood workup, I noticed that you are a compatible donor. The only compatible donor that we have found in the all the three years we have been looking."

"Oh! What can I do to help that poor child?" cried Victoria. The doctor smiled, she was almost under his knife.

"All we need is one kidney, just one. You only need one to live a happy, full life. That is just what the poor little girl needs."

Within five minutes of that conversation, Victoria had consented to the surgery.

Perhaps, thought Victoria, this will help me to get over my husband's tragic accident. The anesthesiologist placed an oxygen mask over her nose. This is just what I need, she thought as she drifted off to sleep, a little elective surgery will solve all my problems.

Friday, April 7, 2006

SuperMegaActionYouveNeverSeenAnythingLikeThisAndNeverWillAgain Romance

Part One

Caire Stouf leaned over and placed a blood red rose on the mahogany casket. A single tear made its way down her cheek. Her father was gone, forever. She was dressed all in black, though she thought it was a bit old-fashioned. Her mother had requested it. Carie had been too full of despair to argue.

"What a tragedy," Carie heared from behind her. "He was so young. At least he died doing what he loved."

Carie fought the urge to turn around and hit the old woman, but it was true. Her father had died flying his passenger plane, which was what he loved more than anything else. He had learned to fly when Carie had been merely a child, and she remembered the times he had taken her up in the plane with him. Of course, he had always been drunk, but that didn't matter anymore because he was dead. Lost and gone forever. Never to be seen by Carie or anybody else again.

Instead, Carie walked over to her mother. Victoria Stouf was weeping into a lace handkerchief. She too, was dressed in black, with a veil falling over her face.

"Oh Carie, what will become of me? Your father was my whole life. I don't know how I'll go on without him! And with you going away so soon..."

"Don't worry Mother, everything will be all right. And you can always come to Alexandria with me. Egypt will agree with you, it will give you a change of scenery."

"NO! I could not bear to leave without your father, I would miss the way he picked the locks on all the hotel mini-bars far too much to enjoy myself, and what would a vacation be without waking up to the smell of vodka mixed wth vomit? I just loved your father too much," then Victoria swooned and smacked her head against the coffin.

"Mother! NO!" Carie knelt at her mother's side. "Someone, call an ambulance! Quickly!"
As the ambulance sped away with her mother, Carie wondered if her family would ever be the same again.

Trying something new

I'm bored with this. Really. And I don't just mean with this blog, but with life entirely.

I cut my hair. Only a little is left. I started working out, for some variety and so that when I sat on my couch I would appreciate the sunken portion I have created with the constancy of my patronage. I'm tired of my classes. Nothing is new anymore. I switched the genre of literature I read; the music I listen to. I'm redecorating my room. I don't want to eat in the same old restaurants anymore--give me something different, like Panera or Chipotle. No more McDonalds and Pizza Hut. I started going to the tanning bed at my doctor's insistance. He says I have seasonal affective disorder. He says I need sun and antidepressants. I say I need variety.

So I'm trying something new. Right here.

In my senior year of high school I caught my good friend Erica with a dime romance novel, much to my dismay. "Why?!" I cried. "When there is so much better literature, three feet away!" (we were standing outside the library). I decided to make her a present, to truly reveal the absurdity of the romance trend. To explain the illogic of "happily ever after;" to reveal the fact that "love at first sight" ends upon closer examination. Perhaps this reaction could be judged as an early appearance of my poor self esteem and certainty that I would never be happy. Perhaps I was hoping to help her realize my point of view, misery was existence. Romantic love evolved out of the desire of having someone at your beck and call, to please you, and eventually became mutually exploitive. But no matter the reasoning, I sat down to write.

By graduation, I had e-mailed to her a portion of a satirical (I flatter myself) romance novel, in weekly serials. It became quite popular, printed and exchanged around campus. But soon I graduated, and it was never completed.

Sorry Erica.

So now, in the interest of variety, I will here reproduce the beginning of the novel, followed by the conclusion which is as of yet unwritten. I will submit it in the original segments rather than in one block.

Stay tuned!