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I know you are all on virtual tenterhooks about the state of my colon, so here is the report:

As I was lying on the skinny hospital bed on wheels, slowly rising out of the anesthesia, my brain in blackest smog, the curtain parted and in floated the angel of the Lord. I knew who it was, right off. Imagine Merle Oberon in 1939, in Wuthering Heights. Radiant vestments, tasteful wings, a glowing golden aura bleeding into pumpkin colored spires — what you would expect if you were a shepherd guarding your flocks by night, but something of a surprise in a Wyoming recovery room.

The angel saith (in a New Orleans accent): “Your doctor messed up. He ripped you a new anal cavity.”

I was stunned, poleaxed from whatever they’d used to knock me cold, so I kept my mouth shut. Besides, I’m kind of shy around angels when the backside of my gown isn’t tied shut.

“Lucky for you, though,” saith the angel. “God has decided to present you with a new asshole. For Christmas.”

The angel reached into the depths between her breasts and pulled out a black, lacquer box with a golden clasp in the shape of a map of Oklahoma. A key appeared, as if from heaven, and she opened the box to show me a royal blue Velveteen lining in which were set five brand new anuses. Anii. Whatever angels call bottoms.

“Which would you chooseth?” saith the angel.

I know what you guys are thinking: You’re thinking I was hallucinating from the drugs and the thrill of having a tiny camera and flashlight snaked up my butt. (I have full color, glossy photos of the dark chamber as a souvenir.) However, I am fairly certain that the angel was real. She had on flip flops. Hallucinated angels never wear flip flops.

The new anuses were nice, if you like that sort of thing, but the sizes were weird — frightening small or absurdly large. One was screwed so tight it had to be meant for a Republican. Another had that star shape, like the Vonnegut backside in Breakfast of Champions.

“Are these the only choices?” I asked.

“Of course not,” saith the angel. “God has created an infinite number of assholes in this world. Just look at Face Book.”

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Let’s talk language. Pudenda is a word meaning “the external sexual organs of a human being, especially those of a woman.” It comes from the Greek word pudendum, which means “something to be ashamed of.” Consider the implications of that. It will give you meaningful insights into civilization.

I’ve taken a number of writing workshops, and taught even more, and I’ve never seen or heard an intelligent discussion on the proper way to write a sex scene. Maybe the teachers were afraid of being fired. The thing is, many, if not most, novels these days contain sex scenes and most authors are botching them up, probably because no one ever wrote the literary sex manual.

I’m at the stage in my career where public shunning might do me good, and I can’t be fired, so here is my take on literary copulation:

Beginners and Pulitzer Prize winners alike fall into two primary traps: 1) too many technical terms. One is enough. Or 2) Vague euphemisms. I had a student who kept writing about his “manhood.” It took me two stories to figure out where his manhood was. If that organ defines you’re manhood, you are basically a useless man. I thought he meant trigger finger until it started throbbing.

Romance writers tend to talk in terms of flowers. Or maidenheads. If I was a maiden and someone called that thing my head, I would be offended. Romance novels have a lot more sex scenes than my books, but my books are considered racy. No less than some crankcase in the New York Times Book Review claimed my last novel had too much sex between senior citizens. It made him feel icky to picture old people doing it. With luck, he won’t grow old or won’t be doing it when he does.

There’s only one real sex scene in the book. People think my novels are racy because my characters are true to life: They think about sex and talk about sex, more or less continuously, but when it comes to the real thing, they only pull it off every 200 pages or so.

I use sex in my books for the same reason I use it in life itsownself — for comic relief. Making love without laughing is like eating without tasting. You might not starve, but you’ll miss the fun. Might as well watch cooking on TV, if all you want is to kill some time.

The way to write fictional sex is through dialogue.

“Higher, dammit.”

“You’re on my hair.”

“When was the last time you cut your toenails?”

“Wrong hole!”

I know biting body parts sounds hilarious, but it’s been done before. Gross out humor belongs in the movies. Us novelists need to be more subtle.

The sexual ambiance needs to be unique in some way, or you might as well skip to breakfast, now that it’s no longer cool to skip to the cigarette. In nine fairly racy novels, I’ve only written one graphic scene between two regular adults who like each other, and I put that one in the catacombs of Paris, witnessed by six million dead people.

If you must write serious literature, I would advise skipping the thrusting manhood or angry urethras and going with emotions. Make the sentences read as poetry — man on top, iambic, woman on top, trochaic or even serpentine free verse. (You poets can work this out with other positions and forms). Typing “bitch” fifty times is boring and has been done. So has having a woman repeat “fuck me” over and over for two chapters. Don’t do it. I liked the Woody Allen movie where he said, “Slide,” because thinking about baseball made him last longer.

I don’t feel like talking about funny sex. I don’t feel funny. My dog died today. Nothing funny about that. And I saw “No Country for Old Men” last night, my first grown-up movie in months. It’s quite good from an artistic standpoint, but if you’re the type whose insanity level can be affected by movies, books, or music, I would avoid the whole thing. There will be people hospitalized from seeing that movie, and if you’re suicidal because your dog is dying, it might throw you off the roof.

Thirdly, (is that a word?) I’m having a colonoscopy Wednesday and I can’t eat all day tomorrow. I get dizzy and make poor choices if I don’t eat every three hours. I don’t know if I can handle thirty hours, or however long it is between right now and Wednesday morning when I come back from gassy-world.

It’s just a routine test, like you’re supposed to get at my age. My wife keeps bringing up people who died from routine anesthesia they didn’t really need since they weren’t sick. Our novelist friend Olivia went in for vanity facial manipulation and never came back. Then there’s that rapper fella’s mother.

I’ve got enough anxiety without friends forwarding horror stories from the internet. Please don’t. The medical profession has transformed healthy people into plants for years. Only now, it turns up on YouTube.

Shit. She was a nice dog.

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