Monday, June 17, 2024

Good Deed Goes Punished

 The Demon City galley--proofs are sitting on my table:

The real books should be actually printed soon...

The section on political campaigns was written by Linda Tirado, the journalist who wrote the section on political campaigns and whose been a stalwart ally on the project since day one:

She is now not expected to live very long due to complications from the police shooting her in the eye while she was covering the Black Lives Matter protests. (There is a link there for anyone who would like to donate to palliative hospice care or to her kids and family). This section of Demon City may, weirdly, be the last thing she wrote that sees print.
Linda interviewing a source for a
story at my place

I've known Linda for about a decade. She knew me, she knew my ex, she'd been to my house, she played games with us, she gave me 10,000$ to help with my court cases (it was 10k she couldn't afford: within the year she was asking if I could spare anything.) Although she didn't get to LA nearly enough, she tried hard to help whenever she could.

I am now going to tell my favorite Linda story:

So as you may know, losing one eye is *not* just like it looks when you cover one eye or see a pirate movie. It really messes with your depth perception in ways a person used to two eyes can't simulate. Linda had real trouble getting around alone even just in my apartment or, more to the point, in her own house

So they live down south, from the point of view of the kids (elementary school at this time): perfectly operational mommy goes away to Minneapolis, comes back stomping on toys, using a walker, losing short-term memory, etc

Her daughter (8-ish) goes to school one day. The school is having one of those fire drills or active shooter lectures or anti-graffiti assemblies or whatever and so there's a Tennessee state trooper or sheriff or something in the hall waiting to tell these children whats what.

Linda's daughter walks up to this man and says "Fuck the cops!" then heads down the hall to third grade

The Tirado household gets a phone call from the principal's office. They would like to have a parent-teacher conference.

So in comes Linda.  Down the hall with her walker clank clank and comes in and sits down and meets the principal in the office. And they say:

 "Your daughter said 'fuck the cops' to a sworn officer in the hallway last week".

So Linda fixes them with her eye, lights a cigarette (would you stop her?) and says "I don't see the problem here".

The principal was like "Ah, I think I understand". And that was that.

Also: Linda has known she was dying for several months. She was one of the few people I could talk frankly about my possible impending death with and vice versa. She understood about court cases (there were no criminal charges against the cop who shot her so, like me, she had to sue), she understood the idea of getting your affairs in order for the sake of what happens after, and that most people do not know how to talk about that and freak out and freeze up and are the opposite of helpful. This put her in a very rare class of people for me.

And she was really funny. "Tell everyone when I die: Sunscreen". For that reason and many others, I recommend her books.

I will miss her very much.