Thursday, July 12, 2012
Give A Man A Leg Up
I do not know Joel, of the blog Joel’s Gulch (previously titled The Ultimate Answer to Kings—Is A Belly Laugh), personally, but I admire him tremendously for his efforts to remove himself, completely, from the auspices of the state. Joel is a man unafraid of earning his keep, whether it be shoveling horseshit, stuccoing a house, or whatever odd job which will pay him cash, and he does it all with the inconvenience of a prosthetic leg.
Joel has a problem, and it is not just that his prosthetic leg is old, causing him pain, and pooling blood as he goes about earning his keep. It is Joel’s admirable principles which are weighing most heavily on his soul.
Yesterday I went out and finished my raking project, took four hours including emptying the trailer, and I thought I was gonna die. I wasn’t even carrying heavy things, I was just moving back and forth on broken ground and I ended up with blood in my socket. That’s not good.
I’m thinking of doing something bad. By my standards, very bad – in fact, a violation of a dearly-held personal belief. I’m thinking of asking the state for something.
See, nothing short of a new prosthesis is going to fix this. Yeah, I know about memory foam. My socket is stuffed with the shit. It’s not helping. I’ve got sores on my stump that never heal, and they’re not even the problem. When I spend a lot of time moving around I feel like somebody’s chewing my stump with pliers. It can take days to recover from a few miles worth of walking.
My mercenary, self-justifying side tells me it’s not my fault the cost of these damned things has skyrocketed so. My first prosthesis cost $500. Now forty years later they’re up into five figures. I live on $30 a week. I could raise five hundred dollars for a good cause if I ate nothing but rice for a while, and I’d willingly do that to maintain self-sufficiency. I’d never live long enough to raise $10,000.
I dearly want to help this man, but I do not PayPal, or have other means to collect funds for Joel. Who, of those of you who read these pages, can help, can give this man a leg up? Not simply for sympathy’s sake, but empathy for Joel’s principles.
To Joel, do you have trustworthy individual who funds could be mailed to? I’m in for 250 bucks right now! Can anyone else help?
Joel discusses his predicament in a post titled I’m thinking of doing something bad…
Claire Wolfe posts some additional thoughts.