Monday, September 29, 2008

I spent today at the vet with Fat Buddy, my hospice case/alterego. He woke up with a really bad tummy yesterday morning--animals never get sick on a weekday. Heck--I don't get sick on weekdays. He sort of went downhill from there and was running a temp of 103.5 by the afternoon. He wasn't eating or drinking. He wasn't even interested in food, which terrifies me. He doesn't have that name for nothing. I started him on his clindamycin.

So, this morning he drinks and the water is red with blood. We got in to see the vet this afternoon and he's got this growth in his mouth. It's really big, but only attached by a tiny bit of skin and it's got to come out. They are talking doing more dental work while they are in there. It's going to be in the 500 dollar range--after I declined other stuff that drove the estimate between 650 and 800.

So. I need to mount a fundraiser for F.B. again. You might remember the Doggie Dental Begathon from last October. You can see hilarious Fat Buddy piccies and read his story there. One rescue picked up his entire dental last year, which was a godsend. I need to raise some funds--at least half--to get this done for him. The idea is to make his life as comfortable as possible and I don't know how to do that without removing this growth. I'm syringing water and pureed food into him for the time being. He had a ground beef and cottage cheese smoothie this evening. What I could get into him anyway. I'm just so exhausted from everything that's been going on with my own health, it's sort of overwhelming. I really love this dog. Sorry. I'm sort of a mess right now.

I'm conferencing with my vet this Wednesday--we saw her new associate who I didn't know today. I'm wondering if we just need to let Fat Buddy go. I went ahead and set the appointment for next Tuesday, because I have to get that thing removed for him.

So, any donations coming through the blog will be going directly to Fat Buddy. If you'd prefer to donate directly to my vet, here are her particulars:

Dr. Sandra O'Connor, DVM
Cedarwood Veterinary Hospital
101 Hedrick Dr., Newport, TN 37821

Just reference "Rosie Griffeth's Fat Buddy".

And remember, I'm also the artist behind Angel Dogs. So any commissions I accept will be going toward Fat Buddy's treatment. Or I can write something for you!

Friday, September 26, 2008

"Rosanne Griffeth employs potent visceral language to create the emotional energy driving her four short-shorts. The characters in Griffeth’s stories, while often gritty and mean and stubborn, are also hurt and lonely and capable of tenderness."

My head is getting so enormous, I need a wheelbarrow to lug it around in. My experimental piece about eating disorders and childhood obesity, Because Magicicadas Have No Mouths, got picked up by Pank today. That will be coming out in print in January of next year. I'm doing so well with my acceptances that Duotrope has decided to ignore all of my data because I seem to have an unrealistic acceptance rate.

It's a drizzly cool day here on the mountain. I like days like this with how moist the air is. It feels like drinking cold milk. I put up more pears this morning. I left them to simmer on the back of the stove all night so they were nice and translucent this morning. I woke up to the smell of lemons, ginger and pears. It's a beautiful smell. Like someone's grandmother who wears vanilla extract or orange flower water as a perfume. It's a smell that cries out for lace and crocheted antimacassars.

I must start writing new material. The illness, pain and my bitterness about my treatment threw me. I expect a spate of evil Tennessee doctor stories will soon emerge. Tennessee, thus far, has an unusually high ratio of prickish m.d.'s. Most of my work that has been accepted came out of the July flashathon on Zoetrope. I have really fine pieces still circulating, but I need to get back into the swing of dividing my time between subbing, editing and new work. Perhaps now that I'm not spending as much time mad with pain, like a dog contemplating chewing its leg off, I can once again focus on my work.

I am shell shocked by the $700,000,000,000 bail-out thing. Are we all not saying WTF?! And the thing is, I have so little confidence in the truthfulness of anything our government says that I don't believe for one moment it will work. It just seems like a last ditch effort to pay off big business--one last hurrah--before Bush, Cheney & Assoc. leave office.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I'm tired.

I continue to be overrun with fritillaries. They are everywhere and depending on which variety they are, they will be plentiful through October. And I saw a monarch the other day.

I've been so tired this entire week, it's been hard for me to post. I'm still healing from this latest insult to my health and I thought I was over the hump, but the hip and knee are really being attacked by the lupus right now. I'm getting around better, though. The human body and mind are pretty incredible in the ability to adjust to new "normalities".

I went into town today to pick up my new interlibrary loan book and got my oil changed. I've had a slow leak in one of my tires and they fixed the stem for me. You evidently can't get your tire fixed anymore. I'm sure there are places still doing it--you know, plugging them?--anyway, they told me they couldn't do that but were able to adjust the stem.

I stopped off at Pear Lady's for a visit. She has been attending the Judge Bell trial. They wrapped that up Monday. I think the upshot was that he is not allowed to set family members up in businesses that are attached to his position as a judge. I'm not entirely sure how that works, but Cocke county has been on a sort of "Boss Hogg" system of doing business for a long time. It works just fine for everyone here, but it's illegal as all get out for the rest of the country. They should just go ahead and secede.

But Pear Lady sent me home with pears, so I have a batch on the stove to can. I'm out of pint jars so I'm just going to put up quarts. Everyone loves these so much that a pint isn't really enough anyway--and the pears are so plentiful this year. I have another friend with a sand pear tree that's loaded down and those haven't started coming in yet. They really are best for these preserves because sand pears don't bust when they fall from the tree like these sweet pears do. Pear Lady's tree is dropping these huge pears at this point but they are busting open.

Everyone has been really sweet to me while I've been sick. All of my writer friends sent me nice cards and things. My friend Sean sent me a wonderful collection of flash fictions, bookmarks and a lovely piece of her original art. Her daughter sent me an anime angel she drew--that is so going on my fridge!

Thanks, everyone, for being nice to me while I've been so out of it.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Very pleased that The Hostage of Uncle Esad found a home on Six Little Things. Six Little Things features six stories by six writers under 250 words.

Go check it out!

six bricks press

was founded by Bard Cole in the Spring of 1994 in an apartment on Avenue C in New York City's East Village as the imprint name for his handcrafted chapbooks and photocopied "'zines." has been online since 2005 featuring Six Little Things, an online publication that spotlights the prose poem and short-short story, and in particular work that rests most comfortably in the fusion of those two genres. Developing plans may include a print publication in the near future.

The online literary webmagazine, "Six Little Things," features short prose writing and is published quarterly. Each themed issue features the work of six writers as well as a featured visual artist.

Bard Cole is the author of Briefly Told Lives (St. Martin's Press) and a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and the University of Alabama. Write to him via editor(at)

Friday, September 19, 2008


Lafcadio Hearn collected a Japanese folktale about the soul of a man's beloved who visits him as he nears death in the form of a butterfly.

I let my thistles grow tall. You never know when someone's beloved might need a spot to light upon as the darkness grows near.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

and no one sees it--are you really hurt?

I’ve been trying to analyze—make some sort of sense as to why my medical team has been perfectly happy to have me suffer in ways they would be appalled to see their own family members, friends or loved ones suffer. After all, if we thought a physician was letting their mother, sister, aunt, daughter suffer the way I have, then we would think them some sort of monster. We’d report them to the authorities. We’d make an outcry in some public forum. Wouldn’t we? We certainly wouldn’t trust our own healthcare or our loved one’s to them. Would we?

Much of this has to do with the Byzantine attitudes surrounding pain management here at ground zero for the hillbilly Heroin epidemic. I had to do a great deal of research into this for P & D. Scott was a wonderful resource, being in recovery for many years, but still knowing the ins and outs of how this underworld works. I remember him relating to me how addicts obtained scripts. They are very good at it, evidently—unlike me and probably unlike most valid pain patients. Scott said a friend went with him and they walked out with a script for 120 Vicodin. He told me who all of the local doctors were who had the reputation of being good “drug” doctors. I actually avoided going to one of them for a while because I didn’t want to be associated with a “drug” doctor.

But having someone with you seems to be the key. Having an advocate. They don’t really care about the patient’s pain—but they do care about noisy pissed-off relatives being kept awake by the patient’s moaning and screaming. And, of course, the addicts know this. But a person like me, who has to advocate for myself, often sounding crazy because I’m in so much pain, just ends up being ignored or labeled as “drug seeking”. The doctors seem quite sadistic and often very gleeful about finding a loner they can bully.

“Why should I help you when your own doctors won’t even help you?” the little ER doctor asked me.

What can I say to this? It’s not my fault little-miss-country-mouse-G.P.-never-set-foot-out–of-Tennessee grossly misrepresented everything I said, repeatedly lost my records, accused me of not giving her records and assassinated my character as a patient. That I was labeled as “drug seeking” because I indeed asked for help, rather than waiting for the doctor to get a clue? (Because they never, ever get a clue.)

So, they keep freely handing out drugs to addicts to keep the underground cash cow economy ticking right along. Patting themselves on the back each time they deny a valid pain patient they have labeled for their convenience. Makes them feel like they are doing something and can point out to the DEA that they do deny some people. All the better if it is an “outsider” without noisy intrusive family members.

Something very similar happened to me in Columbia, S.C. There, they decided to pretend nothing wrong with me. Same sort of deal—me advocating for myself. I ended up in a coma and had a six month hospitalization. I remember, shortly after my family (oh, yes—I do have one—and quite ferocious they are at times!) came to town to arrange for my transport, the craven rheumatologist sent his partner in to try to convince me it wasn’t their fault. I remember lying there with a 105 degree fever listening to his oiliness and thinking—what manner of slime mold is this?

I can’t drive through Columbia without having a panic attack.

I’m afraid I’m getting the same sort of feeling about Tennessee doctors. I have a general all-encompassing opinion that they are either cowards or sadists. They absolutely do not care about my wellbeing—and I now have a useless left leg to prove it.

So, obviously, in Tennessee, if a tree falls on you in the forest and nobody sees it—there’s nothing wrong with you. Your crushed pelvis can heal itself because you won’t get any help here. Walk it off.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Still here

Still alive.

So, I'm not on the computer much because I can't sit. About all I can do is lay on my back. I can't put any weight on my left leg--so I'm still in the clothes I wore to the hospital. I can't make it up the stairs to my closet. But the clothes washer is with me.

Essentially what happens is I get acute leg cramps that occur non-stop over a period of three days over the entire leg up to my waist. It's the sort of pain that really makes you want to cut yourself. Bash your head into concrete. Do an Earnest. It's the sort of pain much more humane doctors once put me in a coma so I wouldn't have to experience it. It breaks up and tears tissue in the process. If it isn't stopped by breaking the cycle then I'm looking at six to eight months of physical therapy to get my mobility back. Thanks to the Newport Baptist Hospital ER, I now have to use a walker and probably will be for months.

The stupid thing is, they stopped this cycle in the spring when I came in with the arm. So it wasn't like they didn't know what to do. This little sadistic prick just wanted flaunt his iddy biddy bit of power around.

Anyway, I can't reply to many emails and stuff because I can only sit here for tiny bits of time. I did see a new doctor today.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Just popping in to let you guys know P & D will be postponed.

I spent last night in the ER. Two shots of morphine did nothing. Pain so bad I'm nauseous. And--self-important little prick of an ER doc sent me home with nothing except a lecture about how the ER was for acute cases and since none of my doctors would give me anything for pain, he wasn't going to.

Will spend the rest of this weekend avoiding suicide. It weighs on my mind constantly now. My left leg is a dead weight.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Thanks to a "love offering" to the blog from one of you fabulous folks, I was able to get to town today to get some sugar. Pear Lady was not at home and I should have called first, but you can't get off the phone with Pear Lady in under two hours. Pear Lady is really sweet, but she has OCD and has a tendency to spell words, apropo of nothing, in the middle of the conversation. It's like speaking to someone using ASL--but who spells out all the letters rather than signing them. She keeps notes on everything going decades back and often has to stop to find them for reference. So, I'll do elderberry jelly.

So. There is a gas shortage in east Tennessee thanks to the hurricane. The gas stations have taken this opportunity to raise prices back to 4 dollars a gallon. It's not like we aren't ever going to have mid-grade and high-test again ever, ever. And suddenly, gasoline is the new white bread.

What do I mean by that? Well, in South Carolina, when a big blow, ice storm or hurricane came that we weren't evacuating for, everyone rushes to the store to buy all the white bread. I'm not sure why. It wasn't like we wouldn't have white bread ever again--at worst we might go a week. Who eats four loaves of white bread in a week? And in the South, we use white bread as a sort of edible napkin for barbecue and sloppy joes. It's like we are anticipating losing all sense of decorum and smearing food all over our faces just because there was a big storm. Or we will run out of napkins and will need the white bread as backup.

And no. Whole wheat or anything slightly brown or tan won't do at all. It has to be the stuff that sticks to the roof of your mouth. It is a mark of great shame to ride out a storm with only Roman Meal.

So, I'm sitting in the gas line waiting for a turn at the pump. I haven't seen gas lines like this since the 1970's. I can hear my father's ghost raging about conspiracies and Big Oil. How the greedy bastards have us "over a barrel". How that ridiculous supply and demand excuse doesn't jibe with the absurd profits the oil companies are making. It's just an excuse to print money, he'd say.

Of course, the car in front of me is driven by a sweet old dear who needs the car keys taken away. She wears cataract glasses and she's eighty if she's a day. I have to honk to get her to move when the line moves, because cars are cutting in line left and right. She's a danger to our queue. She's sort of deaf because it takes a while for her to register she is being honked at. Her head pops up and she stares around--looking for where that vague noise came from. When she gets to the pump, it takes her a long time to get out of her nice new car--literally driven by an old lady--and she stares at the pump like it's a talking dog.

The guy behind me has worked himself into a fine lather of road rage. I nervously check my rear view window and see him banging his fists on the steering wheel and slapping his forehead with the palm of his hand. His lips move like he's in a Godzilla movie with the sound muted. I don't think he's saying, "Look! It's Mothra, Mother!"

The little old lady realizes she's left her credit card in her purse and slowly toddles to her car door. She needs to get completely in the car to retrieve it.

The guy behind me in now bashing his forehead into his steering wheel.

Finally someone comes to her rescue and helps her select her grade--the only grade available and puts the hose in her gas tank. This is normally something I'd do, but my left hip has immobilized my leg and I walk like Quasimodo--but a lot slower. Plus, somebody has to keep an eye on the guy behind me--he's now rifling around in the floorboards of his passenger seat and I'm hoping its not for his gun. I might be called upon to reason with him. "Look, capping the old lady's not going to get you to the pump any faster. " It's best I save my strength for talking crazy guy down.

Finally, she finishes pumping the gas with her tremoring hands. I breathe a sigh of relief and the guy behind me looks excited like he's going to bust. She sits in her car at the pump for an entire minute. I don't know what she's doing in there. Mysterious old lady things, no doubt. Stuff they don't tell you about until you hit 75. Then she pulls up just far enough that I can't take my space at the pump. Crazy gas station rage guy gesticulates wildly and his mouth flaps.

It's when she has finally pulled away that I notice it. Bright yellow and brand spanking new. A freaking Hummer H2 has pulled up to fill its obscene tank in the middle of a gas shortage. I ask you, who in their right mind buys Hummer's anymore? Everyone's eyes are drilling into the driver, who has been foolish enough to waive the tinted windows. We totally can see him and he looks like a country music star wannabe. He thinks he's cool. We are all thinking the same thing--that asshole is going to drain all the gas at this station, just you watch.

The guy behind me is digging in the floorboards again. If he goes for the Hummer, I probably won't stop him. In fact, I'm wondering what I have in my car I can use as a weapon.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Thems some of the pears I canned. I'm going to do more as soon as I get some gas money to go get some more sugar and pears. I think Pear Lady may still have them coming down--her tree was so loaded that she lost a huge branch out of the center. I'll visit her next Wednesday regardless.

Anyway...I've gotten 8 acceptances in the past ten day--two of them very prestigious and prompted me to yelp in an unprofessional manner and dance with the dogs when they came in. So, keeping up with the business end of the writing has been taking more time. Some of my best pieces are now off the market and I have to finish polishing others to add to the queue. I finally wrote the Dogs of Ashekelon story. It's really good and I think it is going to get snapped up very quickly.

The air conditioning unit remains busted. I've been waiting for six weeks for this guy to come fix it and I'm guessing that, despite his assurances (they lie like dogs here) that he will not be coming. I moved the futon couch into the living room because I've destroyed my left hip sleeping on the sofa.

My birthday is next week. Tuesday. I think I'm going to be 47. Does anyone else have a hard time remembering how old they are? Or am I just weird that way? I have to pull out the calculator to figure it out most of the time. I thought I'd done 47 already.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

I've officially moved downstairs for the time being--until the guy comes to fix the AC or the first freeze--whichever comes first. I can't sleep up there in the heat with the door closed and if I leave it open, the giant hornets come in the bedroom.

I go up to bed the other night and they were everywhere, swarming all over the lights, in the bathroom--it was like a horror movie. And it was an insomnia night where I'd finally gotten the urge to sleep at 4 a.m. It called for drastic measures. I went down and got the big vacuum cleaner with the hose attachment. Then I had to suck them out of the air. They are so big that they can fly against the suction so you have to hit them just right to pull them out of the air. All the while the rest of them are buzzing around like hummingbirds. I vacuumed 15 of them out of the bedroom. So. I give up. I'm downstairs on the couch where it's cool. The upstairs is now closed off.

Next place I live--fewer types of wasps and hornets please.

I have a big chuck of Porn and Donuts for you today. You'll see why--there's a gag that I can't break up. And this is the end of the bit I have written. So from here on out--The HOT Light will be on--all new, all hot, all steaming fresh Porn and Donuts.


“So who’s your friend?” Lucius growled through a mouthful of doughnut.

Kellie looked at him in warning.

“So is this your cousin?” The cop asked, looking at Lucius.

Lucius poured more sugar into his coffee, shredding the packets open. He was up to six at this point. He picked up his spoon and rattled it around in his cup.

“Yes!” Kellie said as she directed a surreptitious kick to Lucius’ calf. “Luke, this is our cousin Jack. He’s related to us through Uncle Jimmy’s second wife’s nephew’s son. You know, the one who calls square dances?”

Lucius looked blankly at her. First, because she had called him “Luke” and secondly, because he had no idea what she was talking about. He was concerned she identified this cop as a cousin.

“Hi, I’m Jack Hensley." He laughed. "I don’t get it either how the womenfolk keep track of who’s related to who.”

Lucius gave a small shrug and finished off the rest of his doughnut. He took a slug of coffee to wash it down. He realized he had used too much sugar, but he did not want anyone to notice. Some of it splashed in the white saucer when he slammed the cup down.

“Hey, Luke,” Kellie turned to him saying, “Jack here says there was a robbery down the street and get this--they made off in a Krispy-Kreme truck. Isn’t that a hoot?”

Lucius stuck one of the apple-filled in his mouth to give him time to think. The cinnamon and powdered sugar stuck to his upper lip and the hot filling burnt his tongue. He dropped his head and looked at the cop from the corner of his eye.

“Yeah, the dispatcher said this idiot had a blow-up sex doll attached to him.” Jack laughed. “That’s not something you see every day,” he sniped.

Lucius’ face flushed with anger and embarrassment. He poured out half of the too sweet coffee into his saucer and waved the waitress over to top his cup up.

“Yeah, well, maybe there was a reason. Like maybe he couldn’t help it. You know, he mighta planned it that way.”

Kellie gave him her “shut up” look.

Jack cocked his head, frowning at Lucius. “You think?”

Lucius pushed his plate of doughnuts away. He was pissed at Kellie for chatting this cop up. “Have you got the money? I’m going to go ahead and pay the bill.”

Kelly pulled a few bills from her pocket and handed them to Lucius. “Here you go. But I’m going to finish my coffee before we go.”

“Fine.” Lucius stood abruptly. He started to move around Kellie’s stool, but his foot had become tangled in the strap of her duffle bag. He scrambled to gather his balance but sprawled across the black and white floor, sliding across the slick surface. The bag followed him as far as it could, before hanging on Kellie’s footrest. The zipper broke open from the strain and a few fat wads of bills spilled onto the floor.

Kellie looked down and said, “Oops.”

Officer Jack Hensley knelt to retrieve the bag before he registered what he was seeing. When he did, he looked up and locked eyes with Lucius.

Kellie’s foot connected with Officer Jack’s forehead shoving him off balance. He tumbled back on his butt. Lucius scooted backwards on his rear and Kellie jumped to her feet, heaving the bag up on her shoulder.

“Lucius--get up and run!” she yelled.

Jack reached for his taser. Lucius feared he was going for his service revolver.

“Kellie, go!” Lucius staggered to his feet.

Jack pulled the taser from his belt and pointed it at Lucius. Kellie lifted the duffle bag and brought it down on the cop's head at the same moment he fired the taser. The probes missed Lucius, sinking instead into the cop’s thigh and calf. Jack floundered and jerked on the floor and the weapon fell from his hand.

Kellie picked up Lucius’ bag from under his stool and threw it to him. She hopped over the prone cop and sprinted to the door. She turned and hissed at Lucius, “Come on!”

Everyone in the shop stared at them, their eyes wide and frightened.

“Yeah, well,” Lucius said, pointing at the twitching cop, “that’s not something you see every day, is it?”

He made a small salute to the people in the shop and joined Kellie in the parking lot.

"Okay, let's get out of here." She said scanning the vehicles parked there.

"Wait a minute." Lucius turned away from her and dashed back inside the shop.

He ran over to the cash register, stepping over the cop, and laid a hundred dollar bill on the counter.

“Keep the change.” He smiled crookedly at the waitress who remained frozen in the same spot, a coffee pot in her hand. Lucius turned and looked down into Jack’s eyes. He stabbed his finger at the cop. “You ain’t my damn cousin, Sport. And you know what? I think. I think a lot."

Friday, September 05, 2008

Click here to read Rumor Control: Chapter 1

The one blessing about Friend Scott being gone is that I no longer am made privy to the silly gossip and rumors circulated about me. And believe me, they are always ridiculous. One thing about the Appalachian culture in my area is their liquid interpretation of the concept of truth.

Case in point: two late elderly twin sisters that I've written about in the past lived with their 100-year old mother up here. Someone started a "fun" rumor that the girls were sewing money into the quilts they made. The fact was, they were using newsprint to stiffen the backings as they sewed. Sure, it's fun to roll eyes big and whisper about a fortune being sewed into quilts--the sort of tale you'd tell on a cold night next to the wood stove. Well, it wasn't so funny when the 80-year old twins and their 100-year old mother were nearly beaten to death, the mother dying shortly thereafter and one of the girls losing their eyesight--their quilts stolen and no doubt destroyed all because of that rumor.

So. I'm visiting my friend yesterday and I took her the print copy of The Angler that one of my stories appears in. It just arrived in the post and I wanted to share it with someone--naturally being excited. She gives me a funny look. It's the look I remember my mother giving me when I'd done something and lied about it.

"You know," she says. "You could tell me if they paid you a thousand dollars for one of these stories and I wouldn't tell anyone."

I'm flabbergasted. I start laughing uproariously and say, "If they gave me a thousand dollars for one of these stories, you wouldn't be able to shut me up!"

She's not buying the truth, not one lick of it. The look lengthens. "I'm just saying, if you asked me not to say anything, I wouldn't." Serious as a church.

And honestly, I'm hurt because this is the friend I would run straight to and tell such news, if it were remotely possible or true. And I already trust her to keep my confidences--though I don't think I've ever had any.

Not her fault--but what it tells me is that there is a malicious rumor spreading around the mountain that I'm making gobs of money from selling flash fiction stories at 1000 bucks a pop. Never mind that I've ridden out the dog days of August with a busted AC unit I have no money to repair, can only afford one tank of gas per month, am unable to afford to pay someone to do my yard for me while I've been sick--or get the lawnmower repaired. Never mind there is absolutely no evidence that I live in anything other than the austere poverty I've always lived. It's, unfortunately, the sort of rumor that gets people killed up here.

Which's time for another installment of Rumor Control!

This is the feature of the blog where I offer up a dozen juicy tidbits about myself that may or may not be true. You are welcome to speculate on what is truth or lie and locals trolling the blog are welcome to spread any of these rumors about me about the mountain freely.

Here we go...

1. As many of you know, if you've been following the blog for a while, I was born with a tail. I like to think of it as something that sets me apart--special. If I really , really like you--it wags.

2. I once brought the entire National Venezuelan Men's Volleyball Team home with me one night and had my way with them. The language barrier turned out to be not such a big deal after all.

3. My skirt fell completely off in the middle of a job interview. As luck would have it, I decided to wear underwear that day.

4. My mother spent a gang of time sheepshead fishing when she was pregnant with me and I ended up being "marked" by a sheepshead. You can't see them, but I've got black and white strips all around my middle--just like a sheepshead. I also had little hard nubby teeth like one when I was born, but they fell out.

5. I'm not really a woman.

6. You were all wrong, bamboozled, completely fooled. Friend Scott and I always were an item. He's not gay, never was and just made all that stuff up to protect my honor. Then y'all went and burnt his house down. Bet you feel stupid now.

7. I woke up in the middle of the night on Christmas Eve to find my girlfriend standing over me with a butcher knife. Said I'd been too "nice" to her and now she had to kill me.

8. I once played backgammon with a mysterious man in a dark bar off a foggy street. He was beautiful and sinister in an androgynous way--like a manga villain with a sad past that made him evil--yet strangely hot. Longish dark blond hair and eyes like abysses. I won two out of three. He told me he'd see me again, one more time in this life. I was only eighteen, but I knew what he meant. I knew him. He was Death.

9. I burned down a barrier island all by my lonesome. No one found out.

10. If you stroke me in the middle of my chest, you can hypnotize me--just like a chicken. Honest.

11. I snorted cocaine with James Coburn.

12. I don't have a sternum. See, they had to remove it when I was in the hospital. To get a discount on my half a million dollar medical bill for that six months, I agreed to be part of a teaching experiment. They replaced my sternum with a piece of special medical plexiglass that allowed students to look into my chest cavity --like a little window. It's still there. I have to clean it off with Windex now and again. It still works just fine. Kinda gross though.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


...and thank you. I got a message on the answering machine from him that one of you guys sent him a gift card. He said, "Your blog people are the best!"

Of course you are. I knew that.

This was when he was down for the Hall reunion. He's going to kill me when he sees I posted this picture. He will complain that his gut looks like it is sticking out and he's much slimmer than that anyway.

I'm really busy. I've had a flurry of acceptances--they seem to come rolling in all at once--which means I then have to go around telling the folks who also had the story that they can't have it because so-and so decided to take it and I'm really sorry.

Plus, I've been putting up pears. Like. 80 pounds of them. And there is more to come. Bumper crop. I'm running out of pint jars. I did find the trick to making them and keeping them really pale in color. They usually caramelize and lose that pretty paleness. The solution involves cooking them on the warmer for like--eight hours. So, I'm chained to the stove.

And I'm worried about my family down in South Carolina with the hurricanes coming.