My Traumatizing Encounter With the Occupy Wall Street Movement

See, what had happened was…. (yeah, it’s about to be one of those type of stories)

Last Thursday I received a message from Shelby about us hanging out.  Unfortunately, ever since I got back from Ohio two weeks ago, I’ve had ZERO time for anything other than work and sleep and the club that one time and since we’re used to hanging out several times a week, we were long overdue.  Once we linked up, we decided to head further downtown to Union Square to hang out.  I suggested Union Square because it has a cute little park that was going to be perfect for people watching, enjoying the sunshine and enjoying each other’s company.  I’d also heard that the day before there had been a Trayvon Martin protest; I was hoping that perhaps we could spot a glimpse of the overflow.

Once we arrived at Union Squre we immediately noticed folks dressed in urban grungewear, rocking unique tights, hairstyles, jewelry and bags on the outskirts of the park.  As we crossed the street to get closer I noticed several police officers posted nearby, outside the throng of the crowd.  Traffic was heavy as it was rush-hour traffic, and I began noticing a few dancers, skaters and protesters yelling indistinguishable things.  Shelby and I were confused as to what we’d stumbled upon.  Just as soon as I realized it must’ve been Day 2 of the Trayvon Martin protest, she pointed to a bold yellow sheet with black letters scrawled across the front.  “Oh my gosh couso!  Look!  This is Occupy Wall Street!”

Through my confusion, I took a closer look.  I realized the grungwear folks with unique jewelry and hairstyles was actually dirty, homeless people rocking whatever people had given them or randomness they found in the trash.  The protesters standing along the edge of the crowd were yelling things at the police officers such as, “You can’t touch me,” “You can’t do anything!” and my personal favorite, “I dare you to try to make me leave!”  I glanced to my left at Shelby’s subtly pointed finger.  “No that White lady is not sitting out here without her shirt and bra on.  And she’s got some big ones on her too!”  As we ventured further into the protest, we noticed flattened cardboard boxes strewn about with sleeping people lying on them.

Instead of seeing misplaced blue collar employees and unemployed factory workers that I had assumed would be Occupy Wall Street protesters, I realized that it was mentally unstable/ill, homeless folks who were looking for something to do when there was nothing to do.  “Cous,” I said in a low voice, “I can’t believe how stupid Occuply Wall Street is.  It’s a movement made up of a bunch of crazy, homeless people.”  By this point Shelby and I had found a tiny patch of empty space on some steps and were sitting down among the crowd.  I couldn’t quite tell who was, and wasn’t, protesters.  “You’re definitely not being quiet as you think you are so I’m going to sit here and act like I didn’t hear a word of what you just said,” she responded curtly.  Lmbo.  Oops.

We began to talk casually about how our lives have been, and since we had made plans to meet up with Mike in a few, we decided to wait at the Park until he arrived.  It wasn’t long before a man sat down near us and asked me, “Is that your girlfriend?”  Shelby laughed.  All I could do was shake my head and firmly tell him “No.”  (Earlier that day Shelby and I had stopped at the store and I had gotten hit on HARD by a woman.  Her running joke on me ever since had been that I had that spirit on me and I better get myself together…it was crazy because I NEVER get hit on by women)  He was dressed in filthy clothes, hadn’t shaved in days, and had extremely crooked and rotten teeth.  He then let us know how beautiful he thought we were and began telling us about his life…he mentioned he was from Pennsylvania, was a rapper, and was releasing his completed album soon.  I nodded my head politely when necessary but it wasn’t long before I zoned him out.  He began asking us if we were single, did we have kids and if we would hook him up with one of our friends but I ignored him.  Whenever he’d get tired of that, he’d get a little aggitated, aggressive and angry.  “Aye!  You two girls!  Yeah, I’m talkin to you!”  Everytime he did it Shelby would respond…she was nervous he’d do something more drastic if we continued to ignore him.  Finally he got tired of trying to get our attention and yelled at us, “Women like you who ignore men are the reason we become pedophiles!”  Our mouths dropped open as our eyes met.  Did he really say that?  “I hope your future children get molested too!” he said as he got up and walked away.

While we were incredibly disgusted, we didn’t move because the crazy man had already left and we knew Mike would be there any minute.  We stayed put and continued to watch the sights.  There were lots of photographers and other media outlets taking pictures of protesters, dancers and the naked lady so it was interesting to say the least.  Out of the corner of our eyes, we noticed a Black woman coming near our section, dressed in long turquise robes with SUPER long locs, preaching about something.  It wasn’t long before we realized she was Rastafarian and was preaching about her faith.  Suddenly, the crazy man was at her side.  “Auntie!  Auntie!  You see those two girls right there?”  He pointed at Shelby and I.  “Those girls were very rude to me!  They don’t know about their culture.  You need to go talk to them.”  Our mouths dropped.  “Who?  Those girls?!?!” said Rasta Auntie, as she extended one long index finger in our direction with her forehead furrowed in confusion.  “I’m done.  Come on cous.  We’re leaving,” said Shelby as she stood with a start and began walking to another section of the park, but not before she managed to mutter a few words to Rasta Auntie that I couldn’t quite catch.  I quickly followed behind her.

A few minutes later Mike finally joined us, and after a bite to eat at Chipotle where I got hit on by yet another woman smh we walked back by the Union Square Park, en route to the trains.  We pointed out the bare-breasted lady and Mike had a nice little chuckle.  And wouldn’t you know, there was a tiny little stage set up and the crazy man was up there rapping?

“You know what?  As crazy as he is, it makes me feel good to know that he wasn’t lying about rapping.  At least we know we can depend on him to be somewhat truthful.  He’s alright with me.” said Shelby.

I thought about what she said.  “I would agree couso…but remember, he also told us he’s a pedophile.”

From there we began brainstorming ways that we could report him while Mike just laughed and shook his head.

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