The bloody bite

Kristanabel’s sharp teeth gripped Myron’s ear, and she tongued a bit of blood.  She was lying naked atop his bare, hairy, upturned back in a bed of the Marbol Hotel.

Releasing her grip, she whispered, There’s no other way.

His face was buried in the pillow as he thought,  She’s crazy.  What am I going to do?  That thought was followed by,  Maybe it would work.  Maybe.

We must kill her, or we’ll get caught, Kristanabel whispered.  Myron turned his head as she freed his ravaged ear, and said, What about the children?

I will take care of the children.  I will be like a mother to them.  Though she knew the children would have to go too.  Kristanabel hated the children.

But first things first, and the first thing was that Blade bitch.

Myron turned over with effort, and the girl slithered to his side.  He looked at her, and drew a deep breath as his chest pounded.  Would he kill for her?  he wondered.  What had happened to him?

The long blonde hair. The cold, cutting blue eyes.  The soft round body.  Those teeth.  That was what had happened to him, and he knew it.

There was a knock from the hall.  Kristanabel pulled the sweaty sheet over her bare skin, leaving only her hair and eyes out in the dank air.  Myron plunged his legs into pants, and opened the door to Max the bellman.

Your order, sir,  Max said with a malevolent smile, as he handed the aluminum tray to Myron and turned on his still-military heel, thinking,  Oooh, boy.  Max had seen much at the Marbol, but little on the grand scale of Kristanabel.

On the tray was a hamburger and fries for Myron, plus rare roast beef  between three slices of black bread with brown mustard, lettuce, tomato slices and plenty of onion for Kristanabel.  A cold jar of whole dill pickles.

Two dark ales — and a root beer for show.

As they ate cross-legged on the bed facing one another, Myron thought,  No wonder she’s filled out so much since she came to live with us.  What an appetite.  She was like a skinny kitten then.  Now she is a cat.

A black cat tinted pale.  Fingering his aching earlobe, crusty with dried blood, he looked at her sharp teeth and wondered what lay ahead.  She was 17.

And he was sweaty.

* * * *

(One of a series titled  The Marbol Hotel.)

The loose ship

When we built our house in 2002-03, there was little on the double lot but a couple of bushes and partial grass.  In the ensuing years I ran a tight yard ship, trimming, controlling, etc.  A yard Nazi.

I ran out of steam last Spring* and, apart from mowing, which a hireling does, and trimming the edges with the Weedeater, which I do, nothing much gets done.  I run a loose ship now.  And everything has improved.

There is a broader lesson in this.

* * * *

* Note earlier item on  Personal Evolution.

American twilight

America was at the top of its game in the 20th century.  That’s over and done with.  We are toast. There are two reasons for this:

1.  The federal government, as currently constituted, is striving to build a European-style social democracy.  This is being done at the same moment that European-style social democracy is coming unglued in Europe.

Note the street riots and financial chaos.

There is a chance that No. 1 can be reversed and sanity restored.

2. Encouraging multiculturalism as an official policy.  The true definition of a nation is a group of people who speak the same language, share common religious beliefs and customs, and look alike.  It’s a big family, pure and simple.

Even a rudimentary grasp of world history and human nature shows that when territory is inhabited by diverse peoples discord almost inevitably follows.  This can range from simple hard feelings to murder and mayhem.

Multiculturalism and diversity within a nation is a problem to be dealt with in the fairest and kindest way possible.  It is a problem, a threat to national cohesion,  not something to be put on a pedestal and praised.

Doing so is akin to playing Russian roulette.  And darn few nations do it.

These are the two reasons America is in its twilight.  No. 1 perhaps can be reversed.  The outlook for changing No. 2 is far less favorable because it is not even seen as a problem.  Instead, it is officially worshiped.

We are toast.  Get some butter.

Coming clean

Do you ever leave the shower before fully washing yourself?  I’ve come close a couple of times recently, and here’s why:

Thinking about unrelated matters.  This — combined with a spacey personality — will botch a great bath.  One must focus.

This is my normal routine:  First I clean the package and the back door.  This is hand work, no washcloth required.  Plus, it’s kinda fun.

The hair comes next, the shampoo.  I buy cheap shampoo because I figure soap is soap, and the rest is advertising aimed almost exclusively at women who will believe and buy anything when it comes to their appearance.

The hair does not require a washcloth either, so the cloth remains hanging on the ceramic hook.

I sometimes turn next to the navel.  If you’re an innie instead of an outie, you gotta deal with the navel which can collect most anything.  It’s a garbage bin.

Soap a finger and excavate.

Okay, some time has elapsed.  I’m thinking of a million things, and I figure I’m clean.  I start to turn the water off  but — just to make certain — I touch the washcloth on the hook.

Dry as a bone.  My chest, my back, my legs, my feet, my armpits, etc., have not been touched.  They are wet, however, and that is how I get duped.

This is disturbing.  I think I’ve never actually left the shower before finishing the task, but this is uncertain.  If you ever run into me in person and detect an uncertain odor, just give me a wink.  I’ll go directly home and wash.

Thanks in advance.

Goodbye, Pepe


Pepe looked high in the southwestern sky at the vultures circling beyond the aqueduct.

The soldiers had come late last night, or at least they called themselves soldiers.  They had uniforms, and they were mean.

He was leaning against an adobe wall, thinking of tortillas, maybe some beans and salsa picante.  Pepe was very hungry.  He had not eaten in 14 hours.

Pepe was a simple corn farmer, and he told them that.  They had just laughed and slapped him.  It was good that Lupita had fled into the fields with Juanito and little Maria.  He prayed they were not hungry too, but they surely were.

A capitán stood 10 meters away, and he held a sword.

The harvest would have started next week.  Pepe had already asked his amigos Pablo and Manny for help as he always did.

They would have come with machetes to cut the corn.  Some would have been sold, and some kept to be ground into flour for tortillas.

Part would have gone to Pablo and Manny and their wives and many children, but they wouldn’t be needing corn anymore.  None of them.


The sky was blue, and the air was chill.  Pepe inhaled deeply, both to enjoy that air and to keep from crying because he was so close to crying, and he did not want to do that.  Men do not weep no matter the circumstances.

He thought to that day nine years back when he and Lupita wed under the scrub oak tree, all made proper by the wandering priest who comes now and then.

Pepe had come close to crying that day too, so beautiful and sweet was his new bride.  He could not believe his Good Fortune that he — the son of a poor nopál farmer — would lie evermore in the arms of such loveliness and grace.

They were blessed by Juanito and little Maria.  Family photos, shot by a traveling wagoner, were hung unframed but proud on a wall spike in their adobe cabaña.  Their lives were simple but good.

Pepe looked again at the vultures circling.  The rope was cutting into his wrists.  The capitán brought his sword down with a dramatic flourish.


Everything became clear to Pepe.  He cried tears of joy with no shame.

Personal evolution

I’ve undergone a personality change.  It started earlier this year.  I have no idea why.

It was like spontaneous combustion.

Some people who know me personally probably noticed.  A primary symptom is that I have lost what little patience I had previously, and what I had before would have filled a thimble.

A symptom that my cyber-amigos would have noticed, though they would not have known the cause, is that I abandoned my website about my new country.

I can explain that part:  The novelty wore off.

After living outside the United States for 12 years (come January) what once was fascinating has become mundane.  Now, when I go to the United States, which happens too infrequently, that’s what fascinates me.

Another symptom:  I once enjoyed ranting about politics on another of my websites.  My interest in that has dropped drastically, and I have taken that website offline.

If you want piercing political insights, you’ll have to go elsewhere.

So there you have it.  I’m a new man, reborn.*  Spontaneous combustion arrives in many guises.  Guess I’m lucky I did not burst out in actual flames.

You’re never too ancient to evolve into another life form.

* * * *

* No, not like that, church people.

Books and booze

Earlier this year I read War and Peace and Anna Karenina back to back.  Earlier this week I started The Brothers Karamazov.  If it’s any good, and it’s said to be, I’ll go directly to Crime and Punishment.

I should have read these epics eons ago, especially since I spent my professional life messing with words.  But I spent my leisure time carousing with the Demon Rum a bit more than was prudent.

The Demon Rum and reading are not good mixers.  Even so, I have always read more than your Average Joe.  My wife thinks I’m the smartest guy she ever met.  By smart, she means well-versed.  Culto, in her idiom.

When I quit toiling for cash on Dec. 19, 1999, and thought about what I would do with my increased freedom, I decided I would read a lot.

I also thought I would help orphans and old ladies, but I’ve yet to do that.

I had renounced the Demon Rum earlier, March 30, 1996.  Mix that in with no more working for money, and you can see the free time we’re facing.

There was even time to pack two bags and move alone to another country, learn a new language, dance in the moonlight.

I’ve yet to read a single book in the new language because so many remain unread in English, and Amazon’s Kindle makes them accessible and cheap.

Orphans and old ladies still await my attention.  Maybe next week.  Or after The Brothers Karamazov.  Or perhaps Crime and Punishment.

Or never.  May the Goddess forgive me.

Death vs. dying

Not quite the same thing.  Death is the moment.  Dying is the process.  Most accept death.  It’s the dying that disturbs us.

Some skip the process, driving directly into death, or so it seems. You go to sleep one night saying,  See you in the morning — to your sweetheart.

You turn off the reading lamp.  And never wake again.

These are the fortunate people, providing it doesn’t happen when you’re 42 years old, or in that premature ballpark.

We have no statistics, but let’s assume most people feel the process in one way or the other.  Prolonged or brief.  The latter is preferred, a brief process.

Say, a car crash after which you spend some time on the pavement before the moment arrives.

The prolonged process that we all fear is cancer.  There are other prolonged processes, but cancer is the most popular one to dodge if you can.

If there is no pain and discomfort, the process still is troubling because you know.  There is one way to avoid the process, but you still know.


Think of Hemingway and his shotgun in Idaho.  Or the suave actor George Sanders who killed himself by downing five bottles of Nembutal in Barcelona on reaching age 65 because he figured the best of life was behind him.

So death and dying are not the same.  I wish a speedy death to you all.  But no time soon. And may you all miss the process, going directly to the moment.

Say good night to your sweetheart.  And a kiss.

On the loquat

Lying in bed at sunrise, looking through the window and 20 yards farther, I spot him sitting there.

A lone hummingbird on the peak of a loquat tree.

Lone hummingbird  borders on redundancy because a hummingbird will almost always be alone if he has anything to say about it.  Smokin’  love would be the only thing to alter that misanthropic attitude.

Even though my specs still sit on the bedside table, I can see that hummer sitting there through the window 20 yards away.  I later measured the distance.

There is something written in a dusty old tome to the effect that if one sees a hummingbird atop a loquat tree immediately on waking,  life will turn out better than average.

One would prefer this omen earlier in life, but this will surely do.

* * * *

(Note: This upbeat item is dedicated to my cyberamigo Ezra in the State of Maine who thinks  The Unseen Moon tends too often toward the grim.)

Fact, Fiction and Opinion Stirred in an Odd Pot

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