Back in the Land of Political Zombies part 1

“She was shakin,

snapping her fingers”

-Eddie Money, “Shakin”

Occupy Wall Street protestors throughout the U.S. seem to be growing in number which heightened my curiosity to see how well things were developing in downtown Denver with their local “Occupy Denver” protest. I think the movement in Denver started out grown from the New York beast unleashed on the Big Apple but recently has churned the huddled masses in Lincoln Park to more local interests. They are still connected in  blood to the protesters throughout our country but feel it necessary to make the dog in this fight a Rocky Mountain issue. The last time I took to the streets to chat with this pack of political zealots they left me with more questions than answers. They had experienced a minor setback in their agenda when Denver police decided to take to the streets and clash their little village of tents and unwashed rabble rousers with a hint of pepper spray. Twenty four arrests had been made and the little makeshift cantina they had set up for food had been dismantled. My quest now was to go down there and see if the group had been totally deflated or merely catching their breath for round two.

My best bet for a trip down there that evening would be from an acquaintance I’ll call Eduardo, a cholo from west Denver who I see on occasion who tells me all the time how he want to be more involved in local politics. This is your chance vato. I text him to come pick me up and he instructs me to meet him and his land shark of a car (an older model Buick Skylark) down in no man’s land; Colfax. For those of you not familiar with Colfax this east/west avenue runs the length of Denver and neighboring communities offering myriad human experiments, hookers and crack dealers, pot clinics and Chicano food vans, Ethiopian restaurants and vinyl record shops, pimps, mental patients and vets looking for a handout. The wretched refuse of life walks the streets of Colfax and Eduardo wants me to meet him there. Fine. I grab a bottle of hard lemonade and boost it with one of those small bottles of Jim Beam you get from hotel courtesy bars and walk my way down to Colfax. I felt my street cred would hold as long as I showed the locals I was unafraid to walk among them.

I blend in pretty easy as most anyone on Colfax that time of night is considered just another monster. I pace my way down close to a strip bar which takes me out of play from the hoodies out selling drugs. Crack dealers don’t want to fuck with strangers on the street and may rough you up just because you’re in the way. They have to be on the lookout for cops, potential buyers or teenagers just looking to hassle someone for fun. They have a job to do and they don’t want to be disturbed. So here I am down within a couple of blocks of the strip club where an unforeseen barrier between the crack dealers and whores exists on this side of town. There’s a girl out there shaking her money maker in a subtle way so as not to attract too much attention but just enough to let the guys out there cruising know that she’s up for a night of pay and play. A young black girl, maybe early twenties, smiling and pacing the curb dressed in cutoff Levi shorts and a worn out hooded jacket with fringe. From a distance the jacket looks new but as I get closer to her you can tell it has some miles on it, as does the girl. She asks the typical and I turn her down but suggest she go with me and Eduardo to the rally downtown to check in on the Occupy Denver crowd.

“Anyone down there with money?” she asks me. She keeps looking me over, ready to pounce at the first sign that I’m trying to play a con or take advantage of her.

“This is a political rally” I tell her. “I imagine they barely have enough money to feed themselves.”

“Why would I want to fuck with them?”

“I’m not fucking with them. I’m going to see how the protest is going.”

“What are they protesting?”

“They’re protesting against big banks and corporations.”
She continues to scour the streets on the lookout for Johns and cops. I have yet to become a real problem to her so she is allowing me to talk to her, even though she knows I’m not here for the goodies she provides. “So what do they want banks and shit to do?”

Good question I tell myself. “I don’t know. That’s what I want to find out from them. What their plan is. What they want done.”

She kind of chuckles and begins to walk away. “Well good luck with that shit. They ain’t gonna get anything done.”

Yes, good luck with that shit. Eduardo better show up soon I tell myself or I am out of here. The streets are too creepy to be pacing at night and I am now out of lemonade and bourbon.


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