G.A. Minutes 8-9-16
We thought the really hot “dog days” of summer were over. We were wrong. It seems foolish to complain, because some of us complain all winter and beg for spring to arrive. When full-fledged summer gets to cooking, we complain that it’s too hot. Are we spoiled Americans or does the same thing happen in the rest of the world?
Anyway, the first Occupier to arrive at People’s Plaza is the one who brings the food. She drives her car up, gets out and goes to sit in the shade. The next Occupier to arrive does the same. It’s just too hot to do anything until the sun goes behind the buildings.
The temperature is in the low 90s; it’s extremely humid, skies are clear and the slight occasional breeze is probably why there are no dead bodies lying on the sidewalks.
The sun goes behind the buildings and more Occupiers arrive. We all join in, get things set up, then plunk down in chairs, tired from just a small effort.
An Occupier comments, “It looks like, now that Bernie’s dropped out, many of his supporters are going to Jill Stein’s camp. I think that’s good because if she gets a noticeable amount of votes it will show the country that people are really serious about making changes”.
Another Occupier wonders, “Yeah but maybe she’ll turn into a neocon once she takes office”.
The first Occupier responds, “Well, I think there’s about a 99% chance that Jill won’t win the election. Also, if she did win, there would be only so much she could do because the President is not all powerful. She would have a Congress where almost all of the members are sold out to some corporation or other. Almost all of them would refuse to support anything she called for.
“That said, Jill Stein has a platform that’s light years ahead of Bernie. Given the difficult political circumstances, she’d still make a better president than anyone this country has ever had”.
An Occupier asks, “Do you know that there’s a Nagasaki/Hiroshima memorial event going on right now? That’s where some of our Occupiers are tonight”. Another Occupier adds, “Yeah, I wish I could be at two places at once”.
A male/female couple comes to visit. They are all smiles and cheerfulness. They give us hugs and tell us how glad they are to see us again. They look vaguely familiar; we think they may have been at a few of our fires a couple of years ago.
They tell us that things have gone downhill for them lately and they have to stay at the CHUM now. They don’t like it but at the same time, they’re grateful for the CHUM’s existence. The man says, “There are some people who stay at CHUM who are really, seriously crazy or something. It’s hard to sleep when some of those people are up yelling and trying to fight all night”.
The woman adds, “We’ve been dutifully saving our money; by next month we will have first and last and be able to rent an apartment. We’re pretty sure we have a landlord who will rent to us”.
The woman spots a friend who is across the street and she calls to her. When the friend arrives, we realize she is the partner of the man who is always laughing. We haven’t seen him in about a year and have been wondering where he is. As the two women chat and we listen, it becomes apparent that the friend and the man who is always laughing are no longer a couple. We wonder if he was ever able to get their baby back from social services. The friend is on her way to meet another sweetheart. Now is not the time to ask her those questions.
We are joined by the city official. He’s brought a box of cooked chicken for our table. We’re sure it won’t last long.
An Occupier says to the official man, “I thought it was the right decision last Friday at the Black Lives Matter meeting. That woman who works as a gardener suggested that all the white folks should leave so the black folks could talk among themselves.
“I think black folks need to meet together for a while so they can get their game plan together. Then they can invite us back and tell us what they want us to do.
“So anyway, what happened after we left?” The city man explains, “Well there’s still the question of who will be in the positions of leadership. I told them I would not be able to participate much as I’m already doing so many other things. There are some really bright young people in the group. I hope they are up to the challenge”.
An Occupier gives a few reports. She says, “I’m sorry but I lost the minutes from our last meeting on August 2nd. I wrote them up, went to copy and paste to email and pressed a wrong button. The minutes completely vanished and all I had was a blank Word document. They’re now somewhere in my computer but I have been unable to find them.
“The next meeting for the preparation of the Homeless Bill of Rights is this Thursday, August 11th 5pm in room 106A of City Hall.
“I’m sure you all know that we won’t have a meeting this Saturday because some of us will be at the Bayfront Blues Festival”.
As we are listening to the reports, who should come staggering up the stairs but… Bush Man. He appears to be very drunk. He walks around the circle shaking hands and then hollers, “Where’s my woman!?”
An Occupy opines, “Well seeing as today is Tuesday, she’s probably at the movies”. Bush Man answers, “Oh right, I got kicked out of the movie theatre”. Everyone chats for a bit; then Bush Man yells, “So why isn’t she here right now!?” An Occupier replies, “Relax man, she’ll be here when the movie is done”.
As if on cue, Menagerie Woman arrives; she’s brought a friend and a dog. Bush Man immediately begins kissing and rubbing up against the animal loving woman. He then begins to slap her arm and pull her hair. She tells him to stop and he begins to pout. He kicks a few of the unused chairs that are stacked against the wall, then goes further back into the Plaza to take a few drinks from the bottle he’s been carrying.
When he returns he sits between some Occupiers and whines, “I guess I’ve done something wrong. She’s mad and I don’t like that so I guess I’ll have to leave her. I have such a hard life and no one will help me”.
An Occupier says to him, “I’ll drive you over to Detox if you like”. Bush Man sits straight up and responds, “Oh no! There’s nothing wrong with me!” Menagerie Woman announces, “I really don’t like you when you’re drunk”. Another Occupier adds, “You are very obnoxious when you’re drunk”. Bush Man apologies to his newly found woman and they are all cuddly again.
Some of us have spoken privately with Menagerie Woman. We’ve told her that we feel very nervous about her forming a relationship with a man who physically abuses her. She has responded that she’s not worried. She said, “Oh, he’s just testing his boundaries. He won’t ever be able to really hurt me. My dogs won’t allow it”.
We know she is a grown woman and has been around the block a few times. Still….we worry.
Two young Native boys are standing in the shadows; they call out “Boozhoo”. We answer, “Boozhoo”. We invite them to partake of the food on the table. They are most happy to do so.
There’s still some chicken left. There are hard boiled eggs, organic cookies, coffee, apple juice and cold water. The boys have themselves a feast. When they are finished they thank us. As they leave, an Occupy observes, “Growing kids are always hungry”.
Bush Man jumps up, gets his lighter, goes to the fire pit and says, “Come on, let’s light this baby up!” In unison, everyone else in the circle cries out, “No! It’s too hot!”
A strong breeze picks up; it washes over us and feels great. Menagerie Woman needs to catch the last bus home. She hesitates as to whether she will take Bush Man along. He makes a sad face and she relents. Off they go.
The big clock strikes 9pm. Someone says, “If we pack up quick, we can get out of here before anyone else shows up”. Everyone agrees and we quickly put all the stuff away.
One Occupier says to another, “Well, I guess you got your wish”. The other Occupier answers, “Huh?” The first Occupier explains, “Remember a few days ago when you said you missed all the constant drama like we used to have back at the Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial? Well, you got your wish; there was plenty of needless drama here tonight”.
We won’t be here on Saturday but expect to return to People’s Plaza next Tuesday.