Thursday, December 15, 2011


THE NINETY-NINE PERCENT. That's who I stand in solidarity with, Reader Dear, that vast majority! The other day a friend of mine suggested I might wish to help feed the Occupiers. "You know," she said. "We can show them that we're behind them, that we support their peaceful protest."

There were three of us altogether. Mimi brought the sandwiches, Joanie brought the fruit and hot drinks (ha, I've changed their names to protect my innocent friends, who, for all I know, have neighbors or family members accustomed to weekly tea parties [possibly taking their tea with gossip and raised eyebrows]). I'd gone out and gotten a veggie tray with dip and chips and salsa.

We met outside the city,Mimi and Joanie and I, and we pooled our edibles in Mimi's car. She was the one who'd made the arrangements. "I like to do something a little out of the ordinary every year at Christmas," she'd said. She'd talked to Angela via email; none of us knew Angela, but Angela is one of the percentage that gives of her time to the Occupation, and she had pronounced the donation of a "light supper" a fine idea. We guessed our food would feed about twenty.

It was cold and dark at the corner of Chestnut and Prince. There wasn't much action. But we unloaded our meal--(boy, those sandwiches of Mimi's looked yummy!)--and trundled it across the street. A few chairs encircled an empty table, so that's where we set our offering. Very quickly, two young men materialized.
"This is some food we brought for you," Mimi explained, "because we want you to know we stand in solidarity with you. We admire you for doing this and support the cause. Did you know the food was coming?"
"Oh, yes, thank you so much!" they responded. "We were told about the food. We really appreciate it!"
Due to the lack of illumination, we detailed what we'd brought, and pointed out the hot drinks. Then we peered into the darkness. "How many people are here?" Joanie asked.
"Well, there's only four of us here right now," said one of them, "but we'll be having a meeting in about an hour, and there will be a lot more then. We really appreciate you doing this!"
My friends and I asked a couple more questions and chatted briefly. We were told that the group that actually spends the nights there had shrunk considerably since cold weather set in, and to some extent the group takes turns being there. "Except for me," said the one who seemed to be the spokesman. "I am always here."
When we took our leave, the two of them thanked us again sincerely.
But then we had more questions, of course, as soon as we'd crossed the street, climbed into the car, and pulled into traffic.

Which is how it happened that Mimi circled the block, pulled into an entrance where parking was absolutely prohibited, and let me hop from the car and scurry back through the darkness to present our additional queries. Which is how it developed that that tiny percentage of the large percentage, now hungrily eating, put down their sandwiches and escorted me over to a lit-up tent with additional information. Which added a few extra minutes to our conversation. Which is how I happened to climb back into Mimi's car with police supervision (and just in the nick of time). "I thought I was going to have to drive away and leave you here!" Mimi said.
Ah, Reader Dear. I stand with the ninety-nine percent, but it was cold, and those tents were dark, and thank goodness I did not have to Occupy one of them last night!

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