My heart beats again, for the first time ever on that Wall Street, I am staying warm with shared spoken dreams of wresting control from corporate personhoods. In energy form across 800 miles, I am building new relationships while dissembling the hyperconsumerist hegemony. My face aches from my exhausted grin-muscles, locking blue eyes with the cute anarchist boy over our bandanas-turned-outlawed-face-masks. Beside us, all of the disillusioned, the downtrodden, and the poor, we who make up these huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of this debt-teemed inland shores, all tempest-tossed, all block -lettering our found-cardboard signs.
I know other protests are coming, that this Native American summer’s chill is our Arab Spring. There is too much unrest in our bones: too many with too little crushed by too many with too much.
This human electricity cackles along my nerves like the wind through the Midwest cornfields.
In the cold sodium vapor glinting off of the bull, I would be home.
I should be occupying but I’m preoccupied here by this weight, this loss. Lying in this too-big bed, I can’t even move to kayak ORD à LGA flights this weekend. I feel my optimism deserting me down an alleyway, leaving me standing in the dark. The change I wish to see in the world can barely pull on pajama bottoms. I’ve made unbreakable lines, I’ve walked as a slut, I’ve raged against Chicago Public Schools, I’ve demanded an end to the wars. The comradeship of 1960s battle reenactments fruitlessly sought for in this individualistic world dissipates, like tear gas, after the protesters go home to their Wal-Marts and unlivable-wage jobs. The hegemony still reigns down.
The stock-stillness of motion, energy, thought, and being holds me here. I know at times, that invaluable patience is necessitated. There is no place for irrational acts of phone calls, road trips, roundtrip red eye-flights, but the desire still burns hot, quick, and fierce. Just like those worthless green rectangles of paper. I have a beautiful daughter who needs her mama to find a job, not jet-set off to squat in the park. Maybe she would understand that I’m attempting to remake her world in to a more first-grade-friendly place. She understands the lessons of immigration, patriarchy, socialism, and disposable consumer culture that I explain in a 6-year-old’s terms. But in the meantime, the little dove needs a lunch to eat and I can’t burn her salami-and-cheese-with-green-peppers fund on a however-long social activism field trip.
But now, now! Now, Wall Street is Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Syria, Yemen, Israel, Algeria, Iraq, Jordan, Morocco, Oman, Kuwait, Lebanon, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Western Sahara. We shall not overcome, we will overthrow. The protests will hit Chicago soon. Then, I will kiss her dreaming blonde head goodbye and wander One Financial Place with new friends and new signs screaming for our future at the Chicago Stock Exchange. Americans are blearily rubbing the sleep dust out of complacent eyes, focusing on our brothers and sisters in oppression, in revolution. We are watching our differences crumble and we stand shoulder-to-shoulder in solidarity, remaking our world because it needs to be. The current domination cannot stand. I will, we will, overthrow because the system is broken. Simply, it has failed all of us. The current corporate-ruled oligarchy will continue to smash hopes until my daughter’s curls are gray. I will be there, fighting for a better life. At least, in energy form, I already am.