Pt. 2: Aye, There’s the Rub

Ayeesha left me in the heart of the protestor’s encampment while she trailed off for the bus station with a fellow zombie to ‘earn some money’. I didn’t want to think too hard on how she planned to earn it, especially after the statements she made to me just moments ago. Right in the middle of our conversation she looks at me, real matter-of-fact, and says “You know they caught me up there earlier.” She points up Colfax at the darker streets next to the state capital building.

“They got you? Who got you?”

“A group of them caught me up there.”

“What did they want?” I said it and then realized how naive that sounded. She looked me in the eyes and her body language told me ‘don’t make me say it to you, Dave.’ I quickly apologized for being insensitive. Here face told me she was trying to overlook it all. She said “I never did get on the ground though, they never got me to get on the ground.” Jesus, and she thought that was a bonus? I’m still trying to wrap my brain around this awkward portion of our conversation and she jaunts off to the bus station with a bud to ‘earn some money’.

After all my ventures to watch the protesting faces down at Colfax and Broadway I’ve learned to numb out most of the insanity I witness down there. The hardest ones to shake off are people like Ayeesha. She acts and talks as if she really believes in the Occupy Denver cause, shakes her fists in the air with a look of optimism, like she was shaking a pom pom at a high school rally. Her voice cheers out “Occupy”. This look of hope and innocence is with her yet she will do what she has to in order to survive down in Zombie Village. She still believes in the cause.

I left that evening, back to mi barrio familiar, with thoughts of Ayeesha going through my head. There’s a lot of nastiness down there and everyone living in that den of despair has to get along-or at least learn how to live through it. Drug dealers, Nam vets armed with small shark knives, insane people gibbering into the night sky, thieves and rapists who attack at three in the morning……a brutal hell for most occupiers. They live beside the accursed most of us can only imagine. Their biggest wish is for one night of peace, one evenings rest, one night where they don’t have to worry about someone stealing their shoes or cigarettes or police waking them up to drag their tarps away. It’s a paradox of the doomed, a feral tribe of nomads developing their own laws and oblivious to ours, survival to those willing to ‘earn it’.

One evening’s rest…..to sleep.


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