Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Joss and Emilio

Today: I made a big salad (washed and sliced veg, carried them down separately in Ziploc bags so they wouldn’t smoosh each other) and 3+ gallons of squash risotto (today’s was heavy on the mushrooms. I think I’m still under salting it) and a bag of 14 kerchiefs so the kitchen staff can pull their hair back—making for easier visibility and increased appearance/reality of hygiene.

But what really happened was I took it down late, they had cleared up from lunch and were finally having their own lunch (looked like they ordered in, which was amusing)… So it took them a little bit to collect my donations (and give my cloth bags back.)… But they were excited about the kerchiefs because, as the woman who took them from me said, she had just gotten back from buying a bunch of aprons for the Occupied Kitchen volunteers: so dinner tonight was served in style. :*)

I only had a few minutes before I’d have to go pick up The Child from School, but I decided I really wanted to hug a librarian. (The library—it’s HUGE! Last week I sat on a bench, this week, it’s a library annex. Beautiful) Caught the eye of someone standing still and decided to chat him up.

We exchanged stories (he’s not a librarian, but currently part of a new group that wants to do, among other things, cheerleading at marches and in subways. You can get more info about them on the GA website) and in the end I asked him for a hug. He let me hug him, but giggled shyly. It was good, another donation to the cause, but I was still feeling not quite as connected as I wanted to be…

So I decided to read the signs (they’re back, at least on the east side of the park), and acknowledge the people standing there holding them up in the face of whatever the passing throng might throw at them. One guy caught my eye, because I had seen him start writing the sign earlier at a table.

It started out “Starve the beast” so I had dismissed it as hyperbole… but the rest of the sign was a very calmly worded “remove your money from the big banks, put it in a credit union. Creditunionfinder.com”

I stopped and looked up… and up… at him. And I said, “Thank you.” I expect he doesn’t hear that tons (why are we so shy about being grateful?), so I decided to keep going, “Thank you for being out here so I don’t have to. I mean, I have two little kids... and I can’t…” and my voice broke.

And he reached down… and down… and gave me a hug, “It’s alright," he said, "You’re not alone any more.”
Are there more beautiful words in the English language?

…I grinned and sniffled and agreed, that was why I came down so often—and brought food! I brought risotto and salad, you should eat some vegetables! Stay strong…. And then I started to cry again. Because he was big and strong and I had watched the Oakland twitter feed this morning and I feared that he would get hurt…

He was big and strong and kind.

I know he was kind, because he reached down and hugged me again.

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