Category Archives: Health

Beer Can Dan

In the spring of last year I was invited to a dinner party featuring about ten people from our high school class as well as a few spouses they’d later met. Eager to revive youthful experiences, I drove from Bakersfield more than four hours up the gut of the Central Valley to Sacramento where I […]

Also posted in Aging, Alcohol, Bakersfield, Cancer, Friendship, Sacramento

Flint Water

This story is from the rousing campaign book “King Donald”

Also posted in Michigan, Water

Bathroom Slip

At age eighteen Bill tossed everything into his old car and moved to L.A, yearning for a life of wealth, women, and major league sports close up. He knew he was destined for distinction, he just had to figure how to proceed. He’d gotten a job sweeping concrete floors and stacking boxes in a south […]

Also posted in Falling, George Thomas Clark, Insects, Los Angeles


Sorry to hear about funeral but excited to read invitation list of friends long unseen who’ll be there. What memories: college, girlfriends, wives, businesses. We said we’d never lose touch but we did. Now for a little while we’ll be like we were. Then we’ll find out who dies.

Also posted in Aging, Friendship

Waiting Room

Waiting room roar: she cheats so does he they’re divorcing and lucky to escape. You can’t. Doctor always late and secretary refuses to shoot TV.

Also posted in Divorce, Doctors, Marriage, Sex, Short Pieces - GTC

Wild Peanuts

Joe avoided peanut butter, banning from house and no thanking those who offered. Three years later he decided could handle by setting limits, one thin sandwich. Joe again delighted in peanut butter and reveled in moderation until eating second sandwich washed down with milk. Then he ate third fourth fifth. Next day he began using […]

Also posted in Food, Mental Health, Short Pieces - GTC

Sleep Issues

Driving elbow into ribs, Patti said, “Quit snoring.” As Bill did not waken, she drilled again. “What hell?” “You’re ruining sleep.” “You don’t sleep,” he said. “Because you always roll around and snort like pig.” “That’s not why.” “Go to guest bedroom.” Bill complied and was soon snoring. Patti stared at dark ceiling and wondered […]

Also posted in Marriage, Sex, Short Pieces - GTC, Sleep

Aching Back

Ignoring lower back pain daily getting sharper, Clyde eased into bed and next morning reached for radio alarm foot away but couldn’t lean that far, couldn’t lean at all, as if concrete encased lower back. Okay, just relax. This will pass. It better. Radio was grinding static. He reached few times before turning onto belly, […]

Also posted in Back, Exercise, Short Pieces - GTC

Taco Delight

At party after son’s baptism host offers me taco I bite and chew thinking this is worst ever had but maybe I’m mistaken. Since tacos are always good I try another bite and gag and almost vomit before parting tortilla to see not ground beef but something like guts oozing nightmarish white. What’s this stuff, […]

Also posted in Food, Short Pieces - GTC

The Tourista Strikes in Quito

I don’t know which foods polluted, or at least agitated, my digestive tract, but I believe this misfortune began at one of Quito’s most beautiful hotels, a place graced with superb artwork and guarded by suave young men in suits. Downstairs, at a Thursday breakfast buffet before an early-morning conference about internet business opportunities, I […]

Also posted in Diarrhea, Ecuador, Nurses, Quito

The Tumble

An old woman carefully descended steps of a museum amphitheater, stopped at the second row from the front, and said, “Excuse me.” I immediately rose, and she planted about half her foot on the step, a semi-high heel hanging over, spun ninety degrees and fell, her hips landing on the first step and then her […]

Also posted in Falling, George Thomas Clark, Los Angeles, Short Pieces - GTC

Security Dreams

Night before first day as security guard John seldom stopped twisting and wife retreated to sofa. After work he happily returned home and reported job wasn’t stressful as anticipated. Few weeks later he began to occasionally snooze at post. Following month someone used cell phone to immortalize peaceful John on Facebook. In morning boss fired. […]

Also posted in Employment, Short Pieces - GTC, Sleep

Doctor Fears Naps

Dr. Jones had many patients but wanted more so hired and promoted until had four junior physicians, five nurses, three secretaries, and hundreds patients who on phone pushed variety of numbers before placed on hold and later told they’d missed appointment because Dr. Jones did not require harried staff to call and remind day before. […]

Also posted in Doctors, Heart, Short Pieces - GTC, Sleep

Pool Player

Fourteen relatives, who’d already lost in Christmas 8-Ball Shootout, encircled pool table and were joined by everyone else, and all swigged beers or sodas and munched rich appetizers as watched finalists and pre-tourney favorites Bill and Fred strike and counter with deadly long shots, cut shots kissing balls into unlikely pockets, and taps leaving cue […]

Also posted in Alcohol, Families, Food, Pool, Short Pieces - GTC

Big Sneeze

After hosting amorous boyfriend Sunday night and pounding treadmill half hour early Monday morning, popular high school math teacher Martha H drove to school, parked car, and walked toward class, confident she’d have another great week. She sneezed after shutting car door, and nose and sinuses had tickly, cleaned out feeling that became more pleasurable […]

Also posted in Education, Google, Internet, Mental Health, Short Pieces - GTC, Sneezing, Suicide

Bashar al-Assad’s New Hippocratic Oath

bashar al-assad distinguished opthamologist has revised hippocratic oath at gunpoint demanding doctors foreswear treating injured patients in syrian hospitals

Also posted in Bashar al-Assad, Doctors, Hafez al-Assad, Middle East, Poetry - GTC


flowery serpents crawl into lungs

Also posted in Mental Health, Painters, Poetry - GTC

Christmas Food

thirty years merry company christmas parties no one damaged evident act of god no longer assured worries new boss banning festivities since every year food sickens millions hospitalizes thousands kills hundreds

Also posted in Christmas, Food, Parties, Poetry - GTC, Religion

Health in Good Old Days

Sometimes Joe wishes born hundred years earlier so could’ve ridden horses to work and avoided traffic, television, radio, phones, computers, and other intrusive stuff, usually, though, he remembers kindergarten encephalitis would’ve killed before spinal taps, and junior high knee cutting off blood would’ve ruined leg without precision surgery, and anxiety would’ve destroyed before tranquilizers, and […]

Also posted in Poetry - GTC

Chiseled Boxer

boxer chisels body to prepare brain for slaughter

Also posted in Boxing, Dementia Pugilistica, Poetry - GTC

Summer Walk

summer sundown man in wheelchair cooler than fast walkers

Also posted in Exercise, Poetry - GTC, Walking


This story is now in the collection “Tales of Romance”

Also posted in Education, Kidneys, Short Pieces - GTC, Testicles

Twilight Next Door

Soon after moving into current home Joe walked out front to trim bushes and met next door neighbors, lady and gentleman both about eighty. She introduced herself and said, “This is George.” Joe said hello and enjoyed lady’s vivacity and charm but thought what rude bastard husband was, bearing silly semi-smile and not looking at […]

Also posted in Alzheimer's, Basketball, Glen Campbell, Music, Pat Summitt, Ronald Reagan, Short Pieces - GTC

Death of a Teacher

Immersed in my own trivial but heartfelt concerns, the principal of which was that my six-week summer vacation had, as ever, lasted at least a fortnight too long and, despite a couple of stimulating vacations, left me feeling isolated and resentful and anxious to return to the camaraderie and energy of a large adult school. […]

Also posted in Education, George Thomas Clark, Insurance

Spring Break in Cuba

In the twilight of their lives the once-intransigent Castro brothers, Fidel and Raul, have begun behaving in at least moderately encouraging ways. Fidel recently summoned writer Jeffery Goldberg of The Atlantic magazine and told him President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran was outrageous for demanding the destruction of Israel and a nincompoop for continuing to insist […]

Also posted in Angola, Baseball, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, Ernest Hemingway, Ethiopia, Fidel Castro, George Thomas Clark, Havana, Holocaust, Iran, John F. Kennedy, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Mickey Mantle, Nicaragua, Nikita Khrushchev, Raul Castro, Roger Maris, San Francisco, Travel, Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Writers

Elbow Revolt

Late last summer my left elbow all at once began aching when I dressed and undressed or opened and closed a door.  It groaned during light exercises, throbbed as I sat with bent arms poised over the computer keyboard, and wailed in the bleak hours of night.  You can no longer deny it’s a problem, […]

Also posted in George Thomas Clark