Occupy Bar Stools

 

Yet another month has passed without a peep from me. I’m starting to sound like a broken record, so I’m not going to say it again. You know how I feel about this.

 

I go through these phases where I’m completely gung-ho about everything. Motivated about both the conceiving process and the execution, lately I’ve only really been able to think. I can be out all day getting things done and have millions of ideas swarming around in my head but as soon as I get home I’m a total brainless idiot. I don’t remember what I wanted to write about, nor do I have the energy to figure it out. I think the problem has been that every morning I spend my first couple hours looking for and applying to as many jobs as I can. Writing five different, personal cover letters a day is enough to cause intense bouts of insanity and zombie-ism. By the time I’m finished with those, the last thing I can think about is being clever and entertaining. So, for the sake of my sanity (or even just this blog) please keep your fingers crossed that I get a job soon.

 

I have a couple things I have wanted to talk about here but I’m going to attempt to be topical today and discuss Occupy Wall Street, because I happened to be amongst many of the protesters last night, if only for a little.

 

Now, I’m not a very political woman. I care about our country and our future, but I have never been one to be motivated by it. I vote for president, but don’t get involved in any other elections. When I was younger, the only reason I knew when Election Day was was because it sometimes landed on my birthday. In the elections I’ve participated in, I absentee voted because I wasn’t in the state or country. I’ve never had to pull a lever, poke a chad or whatever you do, which actually kind of strikes a little fear into my heart for the upcoming election next year. I realize that Occupy Wall Street isn’t about ‘voting‘, but honestly, I’m not entirely sure what it’s all about. I know they are targeting corporate greed and asking for many of the CEO’s of the big banks to be held accountable, but I’m sure there’s more to it.

 

I have a friend, M, who is very interested in being involved and has been to the protests multiple times. She’s one of the sane ones though, because she goes home. I hate crowds. I mean, I really hate crowds. I don’t like being in the middle of a bunch of people where I feel I can’t get away. At concerts I like to stay to the side or in the back (it‘s easier to get to the bar that way too), I don’t need to be up front getting sweat on. I almost got killed by a crowd of weepy, wussy teenagers at a freaking Morrissey concert, so I prefer to keep my distance. Friday night, M and I hung out and she mentioned that Saturday afternoon she was going to one of the marches with a friend. I wished her luck. At one point in the afternoon on Saturday, I saw some pictures she had posted to Facebook and was comforted knowing she was still alive. Later that night, I got a text from her asking if I wanted to get a drink. I had just finished babysitting and figured I deserved a couple cold ones after a tough four hours of babysitting, two-and-a-half of them watching TV while they slept. She suggested we meet at Washington Square Park where some of the protesters had moved to for an ‘after party’. I was a little hesitant about getting in the middle of all this but she assured me we didn’t have to stay, and knowing drinks were in my future made it much easier. Her phone was dying so we agreed to just meet near the famous arch at 11:30pm.

 

So, how hard is it to locate a petite girl who typically chooses to wear dark colors amid a sea of cops, protesters, and bums at midnight? Fucking hard, dude. First off, there were just as many cops as protesters and they made you walk all around them. And once in the park it was hard to get your bearings because there were so many people milling around. There were people with signs, people standing around talking, one guy in the dog park with his two dogs, dudes sleeping in the corners, people picking up trash, people bringing pizzas, masses fist-pumping for change (you get the picture). And the arch was the epicenter of the rallying, so screw that. I stayed on the outskirts and called her hoping her phone wasn’t dead. Success!

 

Me: OK, I’m here. Where are you?

 

M: I’m by W 4th St.

 

Me: So am I. I’m standing on a bench, can you see me?

 

M: No, are you by the arch?

 

Me: Yeah. I’m looking right at it, but away from the people. I’m between the huge crowd around the arch and a huge pack of cops by the street, on a bench, by a tree.

 

This went on for a long time with no luck. I stayed on the bench so I could see a little better (it’s hard to be 5’4”), making sure not to trip on the dude sleeping on his book bag next to me. Nothing. I was beginning to believe this was going to be a failed attempt. Her phone was probably dead and there was no way we were going to find each other, and there was no way I was going to stick around for shit to go down.

 

I tried to call her again. We went through the whole landmark thing again, hoping we could make sense of our surroundings. Finally this human centipede ‘sculpture/puppet’ went parading around the crowd a la Chinese New Year dragon, M was right where it had just passed and I booked it over to her. I heard a ‘Ca’caw’, turned around and the search was over.

 

She told me about the march, showed me the phone number of a public defender that was written on her arm in case she got arrested, and told me about the cops on horses that were using force on the protesters so they stayed in line. It all seemed totally nuts to me, and we agreed to leave to get a drink. We walked through a group of people yelling obscenities at cops (sounding more like they were at a ‘skateboarding is not a crime’ rally rather than a part of a worldwide movement) and watched another brigade of mounted policemen make their way to the park It felt good heading in the opposite direction.

 

And that’s how I spent about fifteen minutes with Occupy Wall Street.

 

8 responses to “Occupy Bar Stools

  1. Nice read! I get the point or the purpose of so called Occupy Wall Street, but there is no organization. At least now, some folks are stepping up and actually setting some “demands”. I’d rather occupy a bar stool.

    Ya Tu Sabe! (You already know!)

    – Lito

    • Thanks Lito!
      I think they are totally losing focus, which is a shame because it could be a much more impactful movement. On the other hand, my bar stool occupy-ment is a never ending one.

      • Well “Happy-Friggen-Birthday” to us! :D
        Oh, you know ‘I’ milk the Scorpio thing for all I can. Gives me a good excuse to be a pain in the ass. Well if that ain’t something that you were born on the 5th too! I figured with the ‘Election Day’ comment it had to be damn close. Too cool!

  2. Love your first hand account from the trenches. I hate crowds too, have a genuine phobia (I know, interesting career choice for me given that) and I’ve been studiously avoiding running into protesters as they move about the city. I am glad you made it out without getting trampled!

    • Crowds just destroy my sense of everything. I can’t function, which is funny for me as well considering where I live, but I also hate being in the ‘burbs where there is no one around past 7:30pm. It’s a hard happy medium to find.

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