Bloodletting and other auctorial pastimes

The day-job lives in a pleasant, if intermittently too-damn-hot, office on what you, being unInitiated, would call the third floor of an old brick building.  In order to get to the door of the office, one needs to climb a rather steep set of stairs, turn a corner on the landing at the library level (the “first floor”), and climb another set of stairs, equally as steep.

Students like to arrive at the library early, which is commendable of them, and loiter on the landing, often in packs, sometimes in little drifts of one, wilting against the rail.

There’s usually at least one student sitting on, or sprawled over, the first set of four stairs of the second staircase.

Often, they kinda skooch over an inch, to “give (me) room to pass”.  Just as often, they stick their finger in their off ear and continue talking on the cell, pretending they’re on Mars — or I am.  Some actually do get up and smile and say, “Sorry,” but those are rare.

This morning brought me three boys on the landing, talking and cutting  jokes as they waited for it to Be Time — and a fourth boy sitting all over the first four stairs, his cellphone laid handily by, his calculator ditto, a pack on the stair under his lap — really, he was awfully comfy.

And there wasn’t an inch for me to skooch by in.

I stopped, planted the point of my umbrella on the rug and contemplated him.

His buddies stopped talking.

The boy on the stairs kind of blinked at me, and tried a smile.  “Am I in the way?”

“Indeed you are,” I assured him.

To his credit, he got up, shifted his stuff and moved down to the landing to let me by.

. . .and had completely re-established his stairway office by the time I’d reached the top of the flight.

This evening, as I was leaving work, three young lads were walking toward me, taking up all available sidewalk room, none of them giving the least indication that they’d seen me.  I stopped where I was, blocking one young man, who stopped, blinked, and said, “UmAh?”

“The words you are looking for,” I said, “are excuse me.”

He blinked again.  “Excuse me,” he said, and dropped back to let me by.

. . .So that was my day before I got to the vampires, to find out that my records suddenly showed me living at a house in a location I’d never heard of.  The clerk fixed that, amid much wonderment and confusion from her and her supervisor (“It shouldn’t do that” may be the most comical phrase in English), and set me loose in the waiting area.

I was eventually called by the vampire, whose job it was to draw blood for another thyroid test.  The endocrinologist in Augusta “doesn’t see people with thyroid problems” (um, what?), and the next nearest, in Lewiston, called my primary care doctor to ask why I was being referred since my readings were — wait for it — “normal.”  Which is fairly discouraging.  Hence, the new blood test.

Steve, in the meantime, has written and posted the synopsis for Ghost Ship, by request of the good folk at Baen.  You can read it here, if you’re curious.  Warning!  May contain spoilers.

Ghost Ship is scheduled to be published in August 2011, roughly in time for the Reno WorldCon.

And now, having had Adventures, if not precisely Alarums and Excursions, I’m going to try to do some work.

Hope everybody has a splendid weekend!

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