G.A. Minutes 11-8-14
The weather report says a very big storm raging across the Pacific Ocean is on its way to northern Alaska and far northern Canada. Northern MN can expect temperatures below normal for this time of year for the next week or so.
It’s already dark when we first few Occupiers arrive at CJM this evening. We can feel the beginning of the colder temperatures.
Several street people are sitting on the back ledge; among them is a very pretty young woman we have met in the past. She walks over and says, “We’ve been waiting for you. Are you going to make a fire? We’re homeless and we’re really cold”.
With her words in mind, we hurry to get things ready. Some of the street folks assist with the set up. In a short time the fire is roaring; all the chairs are full and everyone is huddled close to the warmth.
Included in this group is another young woman we have met a few times. She is usually quiet and shy except when she’s drinking. When she’s drinking, she is vulgar, hostile and looks for a fight. Tonight she is drinking.
She’s quite a handful but the rest of the people look out for her as she falls over, loses her coat, glasses and other belongings and alternates between cussing at and hugging everyone. She’s fortunate to have these friends. If she didn’t, she’d probably be dead by now.
Once folks are warm, some of them go to the back ledge for a bit, probably to drink a little more. Suddenly the hostile young woman is on top of the pretty young woman and pounding on her. A couple of the men quickly pull the aggressive woman off the other woman and gently scold her. The pretty woman leaves quickly.
We think, “Oh great. I hope it’s not going to be another one of those nights”.
Two of the Occupiers had attended a wolf rally earlier in the day. One had gone as a representative for the Northwoods Wolf Alliance. The rally was sponsored by Howling For Wolves and the Occupier was sent to ask if HFW would be willing to ally with NWA with hopes of working more closely on projects. She reports the response from HFW was quite positive. She also reports that NWA is researching information about wolves and other species having been removed from the endangered species list in order to make way for mining, logging and other earth destroying ventures.
One of the three Occupiers present this evening remarks, “I have a lot of things to report but it doesn’t look like anyone else is going to show tonight so I guess I’ll save things til next time.
Two women who are personal friends of the Occupier couple appear. They have not participated in an Occupy meeting before and seem to be slightly uncomfortable. In an attempt to help the friend feel comfortable an Occupier comments, “It can get a little crazy around here but of course you and I have never acted crazy”. The friend laughs and relaxes.
A woman who owns the African American Beauty Solon in the neighborhood stops by to say hello.
The neighborhood spiritual man arrives, gets some coffee and quietly takes a seat.
Two large African American men are slamming their bodies against each other, wrestling and at first we think they are fighting. It soon becomes apparent that they are just playing. Two large men having fun and acting like they were young boys again. It’s rather cute.
Suddenly one of the men realizes he has lost his cell phone. They stop their game and slowly retrace their steps in an attempt to find it.
A man who has been holding his hands over the fire for some time says, “My hands are so cold and they hurt so much”. An Occupier asks if he has any gloves and when he answers no, she says, “Why don’t you take these? They’re not much but maybe they’ll help. I’ve taken to bringing an extra pair every time we come here in case someone can use them”. The man gratefully accepts the gloves.
Another man who is part of their group says, “You know, everyone says I’m crazy because of the time I spent at Miller Dwan”. He then launches into a loud diatribe, “I’m just waiting for Jesus to arrive. What chu goona do when Jesus comes to you and asks ‘What have you done for me?’ What chu gonna do?”
He soon becomes repetitive and annoying. We’re glad when the group wanders off because they take him with them.
A few at a time, everyone leaves until the spiritual man and the few Occupiers are the only ones left at the fire. We all breathe a sigh of relief as it is finally quiet.
In silent fellowship, we watch the fire and it begins to lightly snow. Oh well……. We knew it was going to happen sooner or later.
After a while it’s time to go. We begin to pack up when the pretty young woman returns. She is perfectly shitfaced and cold.
We allow her to sit and warm up. She is whiny and demanding. She says, “Where am I gonna sleep tonight? I’m gonna freeze to death! I called my boyfriend’s house and another woman answered and called me a cunt. Where am I gonna go?”
The spiritual man is going to hang out in the Casino for a while. We suggest she go there too. She refuses saying, “So what am I gonna do, just walk around there all night?” We then suggest that we call homeless outreach and they take her to Detox. She says, “Hell no! I’m not some kinda drunk!”
We have no other options to offer her and she stumbles angrily off.
As we drive away, we search the street for her but she is nowhere to be found. We figure she must have found someone to take her in.
We’ll be back again on Tuesday.