By Gonz Blinko
Samhara and I flew from LaGuardia into Tampa. New York to Tampa takes just around three hours. Samhara didn’t know how much Valium to feed me for a trip of this length. She settled on a 25 mg tablet, just to ensure it would last the entire flight. The benzo did its job a little too well and, upon arriving at Tampa International Airport, she had to practically carry me off of the plane. This felt strange, I often fly with Samhara but, when deplaning in those situations, the random traveler can see that I’m blind and that the tall black woman is assisting me; this time, they thought I must just be another drunken tourist on his way down to add to the destruction of Florida’s environment. Incredible as it may seem, people treat drunks as more “normal” than they do blinks. I should probably do some investigation on this matter in the future.
Picking up the car and racing out to the Tampa Hyatt remains a blur in my memory. I remember waking up the next morning to the sound of a phone ringing.
“It’s Sam, how you doing?”
“Let’s start with where am I?”
“Is there another?”
“We’re here to rescue BC from whoever is holding him.”
I started to remember the phone message which, for a brief moment I thought might just have came out in some bizarre drug induced sleep. BC yelled something about highly trained dogs, forced marches and maybe something else too.
I blabbered all of that to Samhara and she confirmed that it indeed I remembered a real phone message and that we came to Florida to rescue BC from some kind of concentration camp filled with blinks. We had no additional information. It might still be the Blind Panther Party or some bizarre neo-nazi group. In Florida, anything could happen.
Samhara said she wanted to go to a gun show and buy a little hardware sans serial number in the parking lot. I wished her well but chose to remain in my suite and order some food. I couldn’t remember my last meal. Did I eat in Seattle? Did the sandwich in the Milanese cop shop constitute a meal?
I enjoyed a huge American style breakfast and turned on my laptop to see what I might find about a group who may want to kidnap and hold BC. His stories about Florida really seem to understate the situation. Every whacko nutcase group, left, right or center has a chapter in the Tampa area. I fired up Skype to talk to an Asian hottie friend of mine when I noticed that BC’s entry in my contacts folder said, “Online.”
I immediately called him, hoping he might have escaped his captors. His wife answered.
“It’s Gonz Blinko is BC around?”
“No Gonz, I’m really worried. No ransom note, no nothing.” She said rather frantically.
“Well Samhara and I have arrived in Tampa and we’re planning on hooking up with Mickey Bald to try to bust him out.”
“Do you know where is?”
“No we’re trying to figure that out.”
“I think it’s somewhere in Manatee County. I have some recon photos that I’ve taken since he got snatched.” She said more calmly.
“Can you upload them so I can take a look?”
She said of course she could and then asked what may actually be the most poignant question so far, “How are a blind Doctor of Journalism, an Amazon African attorney and a software entrepreneur going to bust a guy out of a highly guarded camp somewhere in a Florida backwater?”
“I wish I knew,” I told her with little confidence in my voice.
To be continued…