‘SBlood 3: Stop Talking Ridiculous

Failing to extract intelligence from me, they went after my next of kin. My sister was away on business, making the rich and famous more so, or helping flash-in-the-pan short-timers maximize celebrity-market-value before the inevitable Shoe dropped. Public Relations. She was good, very good, a myth-maker/purveyor with a future in the pantheon of major leaguers: Homer, Dante, Shakespeare, Howard Cosell.

My father came up from Florida.

“Hey, kid.”

He looked a bit rumpled in his suit. Very unlike him. He looked drawn – not as in ‘cartoon’ drawn, though he was always that as well, but tired. Spent.

“I spoke to Doctor…shit, what was his name…?” he patted his pockets as if to search for a business card or memo.



“Brows. I take it you noticed his – “

“Oh that’s right. Hah! That’s kind of a weird thing he’s got going on up there. But he seems like a nice guy. Anyway, I spoke with him.”

“Really? What about?”

“Your history. You know. So how you feeling?”

“Not bad. You?”

“Hanging in there. Hanging in.”

Pause, silence, smile, a machine went bing; not mine I don’t think, someone’s machine.

“What history?” I inquired.


“Like when I pitched that little league team, what were we called, we wore those red uniforms, to the championship?”

“Ha, ha. Ho, ho. You know, when you were a little kid, when you were sick.”

“How little?”

“About the time you were born to age a year, maybe eighteen months.”

“Oh? Did I have any transfusions when I was ‘sick?’”

“A few.”

“How few?”

“Maybe twenty, twenty-five, possibly thirty. It was a long time ago. Who remember these things?”

“Twenty or thirty transfusions? As an infant? How do you transfuse a one-year-old, with a syringe and one of those plastic sandwich bag things full of blood?”

“Syringe. Baggy full of blood. Ha! That’s good. Why do you ask?”

“This doctor Brows is a real freak. I think he wants to give me a bone-marrow transplant.”

“Yeah, I spoke to him about that. He wants your sister to come in for testing. See if she’s a match.”

“Bone-marrow transplant?! What’s with this guy? Is he fucked?”

“Why not? He said it would make you all better.”

“’You can’t be much poorer than dead.’”


“Flannery O’Connor.”

“Who’s that, your Nurse? What the hell does she know? More than a doctor? These bone-marrow transplants are a big thing now.”

“That’s insane. You know what the mortality rate is on those things? Even if it was billion-to-one odds I wouldn’t take them cause of the very possibility of these guys fucking up. Can you imagine a more painful way to die? And chances of them fucking up increase each year you pass twenty. Today marking my thirtieth year on earth implies ten times the chances they’ll fuck up.”

“Stop talking ridiculous. It not be a bad thing. You’re still young, yet. You don’t need this kind of grief. Happy birthday, by the way.”

Two aides or assistants, or whatever you call people who work in hospitals who aren’t white, or far east Asian, wheeled in a stretcher to take me to my next ‘exam:’ another whirly-gig with ominous sounds and flashing lights and ‘administering technician’ crouched for cover behind smoked-glass. My father told me to ‘hang in there’ and ‘keep me posted’ and left for his new life as yet another Florida widow/widower-on-the-beach in mass exodus (each unrelated to the others in their wanderings except for accident of circumstance) from their now too-big, too-empty, suddenly unfamiliar condos.

Adam Engel lived for your sins -- and he lived well! -- in Fear-and-Trembling, Brooklyn, one of the last gangrenous toes of NYC not yet severed and replaced with a prosthetic gentrification device. Engel has traveled the farthest regions of cyberspace, where Dark-matter meets Doesn't-matter; and Anti-matter, despite its negative connotation and dour point-of-view, excercises rights of expression protected by Richard Stallman's GNU/Free Software Foundation and CopyLeft agreement, if nobody and nothing else. Having spent many years studying Boobus Americanus (Summum Ignoramus), allegedly the most intelligent mammal on earth -- after its distant relative, Homo Sapiens -- in various natural habitats (couch, cubicle, bar-stool, ball-game -- televised or 'real-time') -- Engel has thus far related his observations of and experiences with this most dangerous of predators in three books -- Topiary, Cella Fantastik, and I Hope My Corpse Gives You the Plague (the combined international sales of which have reached literally dozens, perhaps as many as seventy, with projected revenue to top three digits by decade's end! Truly a publishing phenomenon). Engel is Associate Editor of Time Capsule Books, a division of Oliver Arts & Open Press, published in limited editions for a tiny, highly specified, though eclectic, target-audience: people who actually read books. He can be reached at adam@new.dissidentvoice.org Read other articles by Adam, or visit Adam's website.