BLACK BOOT DIARIES – Squidgate Trial Part 6

“Glitter on the wet streets. Silver over everything.”



I’m going to be telling some of this backwards… or sideways. That’s how I picked it up, so it will only make sense dramatically out of chronological order. Mostly this will effect the next post, tomorrow’s.

Handed boxes and a rental truck agreement, I was kicked out. Someone at Google had been telling my ex that the Twin Cities were the place for writers, artists and musicians so that sounded as good as any. (This was also the location of the FBI field office that dealt with individuals learning to fly but not land planes in August 2001 or so, the home to writer Neil Gaiman, whom I had contacted about Watts’ plight at some point, where the bridge had collapsed and Paul Wellstone was popular, and the place where Bob Dylan supposedly came up with “All Along the Watchtower” as a child at Prospect Park and its “witchhat” water tower. None of those reasons I was particularly conscious of. Note that someone named Nina Gislop apparently donated some money to Watts’ defense fund. I do not now believe that was Mr. Gaiman).

I never really discovered if it was true about the arts there. I joined the scifi writers group briefly and got freaked out by a number of things and so stopped going. Hilariously, at the first meeting I got involved in a “this is how you do it” debate involving sending promo material to prospective publishers. One fascinating one was written in the jargon of the characters in the novel. Rather than say, “This is what it’s about”, it was a teaser for the style. At first, I thought this might not work, but I said, it might in some circumstances.

There was a brief exchange between the promo/novel author and another writer who clearly had different ideas about this. The author told the other writer, “My book might not be one you would enjoy reading,” indicating that her target audience is different.

From the plot, I brought up a book I had read…sort of Dungeons & Dragons meets Ocean’s Eleven. It’s called The Lies of Lock Lamora. (A friend had recommended it and let me borrow it in ’09. He had done something similar in playing a Sherlock Holmes type character in the Ptolus campaign I was running before my life fell apart.)

The author’s eyes lit up.

“Read the dedication.”

Out of all of the writers in the world I could have met, I met the one who helped the writer of that one and she had earned the author’s thanks enough to make it in the front. Abra Staffin-Wiebe.

Soon after, Abra’s mother was very ill and had a stack of medical bills she could not cope with. Abra raised some cash by putting me and others in a story in exchange for donations. It’s online some place.

I had also got to the clinic and found out that it was not in fact colon cancer but rather a hemorrhoid. This from a doctor who griped about Obamacare. When I called my ex with the “good news” that I did not have cancer, he stated flatly that he had figured it was something like that. This is what he had been thinking when I had told him and he stared off into space, smiling in late February. (Yes…synthetic telepathy… C4ISR… voice-to-skull… brainhacking… Call it what you will. Not even decades of history can overcome it apparently).

And then there was the film experience, the 48-hour festival from inception to showing, that was just bizarre. Bomb.

In the meanwhile, there was a letter-writing campaign to the governor of Michigan at the time, Jennifer Granholm. Peter’s friend, an American author living in Canada named Madeline Ashby, had been the ringleader in getting people to send those. She had a recommended bit of text and suggested content. Once my heavily modified letter was sent, I tweeted that back to her.

I would note a few things about Madeline, from what I gathered through exchanges and blog posts on the interwebs. First, she’s loyal and protective. I was incredibly happy to learn Peter had a friend like that. It meant that maybe she could see in his blind spots, and if there was a wolf in sheep’s clothing in Toronto, she might notice if he didn’t. She had just a touch of suspicion, maybe just a little paranoid, which is not a bad thing. The more suspicious she seemed of me, the happier I was. “A woman after my own heart,” I thought. More on that in a later post. Think I already covered her camping blog post previously here… Four people camping, only three named, thought one might be Smith (I have many photos of the NJSF and he isn’t in a single one. Go figure.) Talking about borders. Turned out to not be him I would confirm in April.

When Madeline tweeted something about a dream and the long blond-haired dude from the Harry Potter movies, well that was when things “clicked” (though partially incorrectly, of course). That was when the NJSF stuff came flooding back. That was when I realized I was now starting to experience what Kara Miller had twenty years before. (And that was why I replied something to do with Achilles Desjardins…incorrect again, but this was the phony narrative at the time).

And then there was the morning, mere days before the sentencing hearing, when I woke up and my hair didn’t feel right. When I put my hand to my head, my hair was falling out. It felt “dead.” Looked in the mirror and essentially lost three inches or so of hairline. When I later went back to Port Huron (this time by plane, train and taxi), it was so curly I could hardly notice it, but certainly can since.

I also note that keanani, another commenter on Peter’s blog, said something along the lines of “Beer for hair, eh?” I cannot recall if this was before or after I bought some hair restoration items. However, there was a funny incident regarding hair in 1990 at the NJSF. I was playing a friar in Measure for Measure that season and started wearing my hair in that faux Jesuit way even when not rehearsing until I got the feel for it.

I’ve never gotten so many anti-compliments in my life. “Ruprect” from Dirty Rotten Scoundrels was one of names I got called by another intern. Smith, who could often be trusted to offer the very best advice at the worst possible time, suggested I not wear my hair that way, “long in the front.” Thanks, Sis.

In any case, the stuff made hair grow where even at my age, I had heretofore not known there were even hair follicles for it to grow. What existed already, grew in length. You know, like a werewolf’s.


And so, always one for contingency plans, I’d just had enough. I got a little drunk and started planning out what in the film The Thirteenth Warrior was referred to as an engineering dispute. (Sort of. Think what it might take to get a mistrial or a new one.) Whoever was behind all of this nonsense seemed beyond me…my reach and even figuring out who it might be. *

So, maybe I’d go for the devil I knew even if he was just another dupe. Just when I had it all in mind enough to implement, improvise, do it in my sleep, I became violently ill. I did associate one thing with the other and therefore dropped the idea entirely.

And, as usual, they drilled the idea into my head that whatshisname would be at the sentencing hearing even though he had skipped the trial. The fact that I would have been there anyway meant that that ensuring my presence was not the motive for setting up that and other high expectations. No. Someone wanted a violent reaction based around an engineered misunderstanding, extreme frustration due to harassment and “misfortune”, remote electronic torture, surreptitious doping, and all around scumbaggery.


* They aren’t. Trust me.


To be continued…


1 Comment

  1. […] a longer account over here, but it leaves out the most important detail. As will undoubtedly be obvious, I left it out for […]

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