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Cracker to Crumb
Hubris and the Dissident Writer: 7/13/2023
© 2023 James LaFond
“James, there is a special pleasure to be had in taking care of someone as stubborn and self-relliant as you.”
-Brickmouse, June 25, 2023
Before leaving Jersey I watched a movie titled Cobra Verde which ended with an insane criminal trying to shove off of an African shore as a bent and crippled four-legged African observed him. Upon coming to Baltimore, the day before I realized that I had seriously injured my back on the train and bus trip and hike, I saw, at Harford and Hamilton, a crippled midget black man perhaps 50 pounds in weight and 3 feet tall, as well bent into a three-legged posture selling bottled water. I bought a bottle and gave him money for two and shook hands as he said, “thank you, sir.”
In 36 hours I would be crippled like he. I have not walked since, cannot stand long enough to brush my teeth, and have slept a mere four nights in forty.
A fellow writer has suggested I am subject to a hoodoo curse. Ironically, I bought that bottle of water at the exact spot where the very first scene of The Last Whiteman was set.
The old back injury that lost my little house and smaller hopes and set me forth in stages across a nation I had never even considered traversing, has called me home and broken me here, on these asphalt, concrete and brick shoals of urban disrepair. Yet, seemingly cursed, I remain oddly blessed by chance met souls.
The help given by a dozen young men and their women is humbling. My goal is to return to writing, then walking, and then light travel—the vigorous life of ring, gym, ditch, woodpile and garden behind me. I do expect to once again be a model house guest who does the dishes and squares away his living area.
Living upon crutches, when I could—now reduced to a walker—made for interesting times: dancing with a negro at a Pittsburgh, PA Dollar Tree, three stepping around him as he asked me, “Would you dance wit me brother,” and then we bumped fists.
A pair of negroes tried to pick a fight with Rick and I—my old friend going through chemo—and backed off as we old crippled and sick stood up to them.
Two negores in MacKees Rocks trying to mug me twice, first failing their gut check and moving on as I stood ground, and second sneaking up behind me only to run into my body guard Mescaline Franklin.
Two more negroes that night hunted me on my way home from the bar in Bellavue, having their way barred by my friend.
Then there were the numerous Good Samaritans, black and guilt-bright who assisted me in small and kindly ways.
These were to be articles. But my mental life has been submerged in a painful haze these past ten days, writing haven fallen away. Back at this keyboard, I need to scrap journalism for the year with this fragmentary wrap up and a concept epilogue titled Foreground Noise. Below are the fragments not to be written.
I am looking at a long haul to recover: wrecked knee, ruptured disc and hernia [1] and do have the main site scheduled out until January 7 2024. After writing Foreground Noise I will engage only in fiction and history this year. Beginning in February 2024 posts will not be scheduled for Tuesday and Thursday.
Fiction will run on weekends as it does now.
History and Journalism will post Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
It has long been an honor to have many young writers among this readership. I no longer conduct reader dialogues. If you have composed something you would like posted at, send it as a Libra Open Office document, with whatever links to your site and books you wish to appear already embedded, and I will schedule it for the next open Tuesday or Thursday.
Below are the fragmentary outlines:
Hoofing It
Notes in urban hiking
I would also point out that in every mass migration or escape from war/natural disaster, many people end up walking.  The ability to hoof it with a light backpack or shoulder bag is a fundamental survival skill. 
Don Quotays, June 7 2023
An Aryаn from Conduction
Gimp Graphomania #2: Pittsburgh, PA, 6/28/2023
Three Simps of Conduction
Gimp Graphomania #3: Pittsburgh, PA, 6/29/2023
Arts of Conduction
Gimp Graphomania #4: Pittsburgh, PA, 6/30/2023
-1. I have since discovered that I have no hernia—it was all the old injured back collapsing all along and here I was lifting with my back again to keep from busting a hernia I did not have, getting back to this shit stain city just in time to fail in her darkened precincts once again.
Post Script
I make this note on 8/5/23, having come out of 7 weeks of extreme agony less a man. I lost part of myself moaning in the dark and crawling for 5 weeks, unable to loose consciousness unless drunk, only to wake when I sobered up. Two days ago Lori, my physical therapist, was in tears unable to cope with my condition, suggested I cancel the next appointment. I now have permanent shakes [I have a hard time pouring the first 4 shots], a mostly dead right leg, and elevated blood pressure, just not the same cracker, but a crumb. I’m calling this semi-retirement as a writer, hoping to do two history books, 2 journals and 6 novels a year. Now that the pain is back down to 7 and 8, I can sleep and am drying out from the booze and fasting. When you have to walk with your arms, every pound is a liability, so I’m headed down to lightweight. I wake every 2 hours when the pain crests, do an hour of exercise and nod off again. I can handle 2 hours of screen time and hope to walk in September. The exercises consist of doing every movement and pose I can imagine that does not increase nerve pain. The last time I was hurt this bad took me from age 31 to 36 to get back to sparring, fighting and working—so that stuff is all gone.
Hopefully the writing does not suffer as much in quality is it has in quantity. Thank you all for your support, especially the Brickmouse and Bride, who put up with a human inch worm slithering about their bridal space, Baruch and Mister Safranno who paid for my medical transport, and Yeti Waters who sent me a text reminding me that I’m nothing but a white trash piece of shit. That latter helped me reorient myself from where I did crawl to where I did finally fall, back into the rancid craw of the horrid city that spawned a dreamy little sissy once named Jimmy.
This is the last Tuesday post and there will be no more Thursday posts. Weekends are fiction, which makes the future ratio of nonfiction to fiction 3 to 2.
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Maud'dib     Apr 7, 2024

Man your posts are 8 months behind. 8/23, now 4/24
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