Chapter 3 Liberty Square
I packed my overnight bag in the comfort of my room, “Rage Against The Machine” setting the mood for what was about to be my first night spent at the Occupy Wall St. Protest in Liberty Square.
I arrive somewhat late. The General Assembly close to concluding its session for the night. I snap some photos here and there to pass the time until I could break into deep philosophical conversation with the intellectuals near by. It is then that I met the sweet, innocent Chelsea. Chelsea had traveled from Modesta, Georgia to be a part of this movement. We waxed philosophical joined by a few rather intriguing characters. Going on and on, back and forth, each smoking cigarette after cigarette until soon we were not breathing oxygen but a mixture of smoke and body odor.
Chelsea shared with me a book named The Bodhisatyas: The Key To Awakening. It was while reading this book that I began to realize more and more why I was there, in the moment, with this particular group of people, maybe not all agreeing, not all knowing exactly what we wanted in life, only knowing that we wanted change. A change of our lifestyle. A change of the government. A change of society. A man by the name of Kiril put it simply “you do not need to know yet what you have to do, just as long as you are doing something.”
Before the night ended, a documentary was birthed out of Kiril’s and ours’ surging brains. This documentary would be a simple yet effective method of gathering peoples from all walks of life’s views on one simple question: “What is your view for America in the new millennium?” I have not yet answered this question but I hope it seeps into your brain and makes you ponder just so slightly.
The conversation halts just enough for us all to realize how tired we are and we say our good nights to one another promising we would continue in the morning. I lay there quietly, my corduroy jeans dampened already by the rain. Chelsea was so kind as to offer me her blanket. Resting on hard concrete and a small buffer of cardboard that I had placed beneath me. The man laying adjacent to me unknowingly rubbing his feet against mine but at this point I did not care.
I think back to earlier in the night where i had been packing my bag to come here, it seemed like such a long time ago, as if in another life, being in the comfort and relative security of my own room, safe. But here i felt a different kind of security, a security amongst my people, people that I had met no more than hours prior but had had such a deep bond with as if they were kin to me. I stared for a while into the sky only seeing fog and rain clouds covering most of the skyscrapers but imagining the endless possibilities.
At 3:49 in the morning I begin to lower my eyes and fall into a slumber. Being lulled by the feint sound of guitar playing from another circle, the homeless man Cookie’s snoring from beneath a metallic heat blanket, and raindrops landing gently on my face. It was in that moment that we knew we were supposed to be there, if we weren’t, we would be somewhere else.