Saturday, December 24, 2011

Day Two-Hundred-Eight and Two-Hundred-Nine and Two-Hundred-Ten and Two-Hundred-Eleven, Christmas Eve

Are you still at the Knightens?
Yes, I am.

Why don't you leave them alone?
I will.  Eventually.  I want to give them the full dose.

The "full dose"?
A full dose of James. 

When do you think you'll get back on the road?
I was thinking about Christmas Day.

Or the day after that?
Or the day after that.

You'd better not stay too much longer.
I won't.  I'll start walking again.  It is what I do.  It defines me.

You must be out of shape by now.
I was never in great shape.

Can you still walk?

Can you still carry a pack?
I guess.  I guess I have to.

What about sleeping outdoors?
You get used to it.  Outlaw camping is hard.  My tent never goes up quite where it belongs.  I'll have to relearn my hobo skills.

What are these hobo skills you're always bragging about?
Oh, my friend, there are many.  I do not know how to find food in a dumpster.  I've tended to specialise.  My gift is for finding places to camp, invisible but in plain sight.  Where never you would expect to find a tent.  Right underneath the Man's nose.

"The Man"?
Johnny Law.  Broderick Crawford.  The Sheriff.  The State Patrol.

Why do they care where you set up your tent?
I don't know that they do.  But I would just as soon not antagonise them.  They aren't always kind to hobos.

But you're not a hobo.
Not exactly.  I am homeless.  Ask the Knightens if you don't believe me.  The cops might be right to run me off, to slash my pack and drive me to the state line.

In order to protect property values?
In order to protect property values.

That ought to keep you up on your toes.
There are also great crocodiles.  And rock pythons and man-eating spiders and big old poisonous toads.  Walking across Florida won't be easy. 

Is that why you're dragging your feet?
Not consciously, at any rate.  I am trying to fix my computer.

What do you need a computer for?  Look at Juan Ponce de León.
Who's that?

He was a Spanish explorer.  He marched all over Florida back when it was just swamps.
And he survived?

Well, no.  He was felled by a poison dart.
Do you think that might happen to me?

You are more likely to get shot. 
Who would want to shoot me?

I don't know.  All kinds of people.  Your neuroses are not always cute.
Some of them are.

Some of them, sure.  But you're 42.  It's time you had life figured out.
I'm doing my best.

That's what makes it so sad.  Most people know without trying.
Do they?

Well, not really.  I'm sorry I brought it up.
That's fine.

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