Pride Before the Fall
That pride came crashing to earth last Thursday morning, at approximately 0810. My large dog was barking in the yard, but it was his desultory “feed me” bark, not the frantic “company’s here” bark or the “I’m gonna get you, sucker!” bark. That’s why I know the time of the incident; I glanced at my desk clock to see how close we might be to his 1100 lunch hour. I was in my den, at the computer, working on “Keep the Change (Part Two)” for United Possums International. When I’m on my computer, my back is directly opposite the door of my den.
Union County has a remarkably low crime rate. The weekly paper chronicles drug and DUI offenses, there is a certain level of domestic violence, and burglary of Florida residents’ summer homes is a cottage industry. Counting the scumbag predator of last January, we have had three murders in six years. This area is not a hotbed of crime, especially random, wanton violence.
On Thursday, 14 August, at approximately 0810, someone entered my home and attacked me. My memories of the incident are sketchy, to say the least. I was enduring my customary insomnia, coming off a sleepless 36 hours. Not feeling tired or scratchy-eyed, I decided to work on a future blog post—some more political commentary. It had been a warm night, and the side door off my deck into the living room had been left open. The sliding screen door wasn’t locked. This had never been a point of concern before, as there is a firearm available about every ten feet in the house. In this instance, it would have been a .12 gauge shotgun in the hall closet, about 12 feet away from where I sit writing this.
Two of the four facial lacerations I suffered are at an angle that suggests someone stood behind my wheelchair and struck downwards at the side of my head. I remember the semi-conscious sensation of my head jerking to the right four times, but little else. I am firmly convinced that someone entered my house through the unlocked screen door, crept up behind me at my computer, and bashed me with some sort of truncheon.
What mystifies me is the motive. I am not a nice person, and there are, in fact, people who would like to see me dead, but I have no enemies in this area. Nothing was disturbed or taken from the house. (I have little worth stealing.)
What compounds the mystery is the refusal of the Union County Sheriff’s Department to investigate the incident. I have called them four times, and they keep blowing me off. My ex-wife rushed 100 miles from Atlanta on Friday; she insisted I go to the hospital, and took the photo above just before we went in, so there would be a record of my injuries. The on-duty doctor said I was too late for stitches, and they sent me home untreated.
Both the hospital and the sheriff’s department treat me as though I’m insane. I feel like a character in a Hitchcock psychodrama. I gave up drugs almost 30 years ago, and my health precludes drinking myself into a passing-out stupor. I was halfway through a cup of coffee when I was attacked. I came to sitting in my chair, so I didn’t fall asleep and somehow crack my gourd falling out of the wheelchair accidentally. My ex-wife reminded me that she’s seen me doze in the chair on numerous occasions. I never came close to falling out of it. My keyboard was undisturbed, as were the ashtray and telephone to the left of it. Further away, on a sideboard cabinet, there is a manila envelope with what appears to be a large bloodstain. Had I fallen out of my chair, I would have wakened on the floor—not sitting up in the chair—with a single facial injury
I’m not a forensics expert. If there was ever a time for the cops to come out and do their thing, it is now. Actually, it would have been last Thursday. Instead, I get treated like some sort of lunatic, and they don’t afford me the decency of a phone call, much less an investigation.
Needless to say, I am locking my doors now, and carrying my Sig Sauer 9mm pistol in a holster clipped to my wheelchair. I can speculate all day that my attackers were chasing the rumor mill, i.e. “that crippled guy up on the hill has a stash of gold coins” or some such rural trash myth. Tales like that are frequently told in the mountains. I was on local TV in Atlanta last November, giving an interview about my father’s unsolved murder. Maybe I made someone angry, and it took them a while to find me. I stay off most radars; this is a stealth blog.
Your best guess is as good as mine, and I welcome speculative explanations. I never saw or heard my attacker, and the entire incident reeks of irrationality. The lacerations on my face, however, are painfully real.