Gary Farber is a blogospherical fixture; a long-time member of the Skiffy community, an entertaining writer, and an all around good guy. He blogged for 11 years at Amygdala, and still holds forth at Obsidian Wings.
He’s also the guy who wrote my favorite piece of negative literary feedback I ever got for a blog post.
And as those of you who have followed him over the years might know, he’s kinda reluctantly used to being broke. Long-term disabilities have made it hard for him to match his income to his outgo. Which leads to situations like this one, which he documented Wednesday on his Evil Empire page:
A few minutes after coming inside from the drenching rain, where I’d put a last piece of garbage in the garbage can, the bottom half of my left sneaker fell off, rendering it unusuable. These were my Last Backup Pieces Of Footwear. This follows the sudden demise of my main pair of sneakers three weeks ago when the plastic in the upright part of the rear right heel completely jabbed through the cloth, turning the plastic into something resembling a syringe, or at least a knife. Since I was now wearing my Last Piece Of Backup Outside Footgear the last three weeks, I’ve been meaning to try to find replacements at a thrift store, or at least get my sizes from a new shoe/sneaker store, as the last time I had myself sized was in the 20th century. I’m now pondering how to get to such a store. Try to temporarily tape up one of these pairs of dead footwear somehow or other for one last use, I guess.
Gary lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, which had an Atmospheric River land on it this past weekend out of which several inches of rain precipitated, which makes walking around in duct-taped sneakers especially poignant. It’s supposed to rain again in a week. It’s hard enough to keep yourself afloat in the US with no real income if your feet aren’t swaddled in moist duct tape.
As someone who’s in slightly better shape — read “currently supporting two people on a freelance writer’s income” — I can imagine being exactly here in about three years. You burn through your personal economic seed corn. I had a good fulltime job about five years ago, and I am still taking advantage of the pair of boots I bought back then with that, um, what was it called? Oh right: “Disposable income.”
At some point in 2015 I may be reaching for the duct tape myself, who knows?
Gary’s got a PayPal account (the Other Evil Empire) reachable through the PayPal buttons in the Amygdala sidebar. A hundred of us giving him $3 each would mean he can get a pair of sturdy shoes and pair of sneakers. It’s maybe not the biggest evil in the world, or the cause with the greatest degree of personal suffering, but come on. He’s one of us. He doesn’t have shoes because he’s fallen through the United States’ otherwise unimpeachable social safety net. That’s just wrong.