May Day Play Day

May 2, 2017 at 3:21 pm (Cussed Dumbers, Drunk and disorderly, Sweet sticky things)

May Day and I go back.

Over the past two decades, I’ve encountered big romance, lost said romance, gotten jobs, but the one consistent has been the protests. Every year there are May Day protests, and I end up in the middle of them. Unintentionally, for the most part.

It was a Monday, and the news warned of mischief and mayhem. There are always respectable protesters, the ones who bring their kids to teach them about democracy in action, or older folk recapturing the glory days of Bob Dylan and Joan Baez. “Power to the peepole!” Of course they aren’t the problem. It’s the 25-100 black-garbed goons with Molotov cocktails, spray paint and chunks of concrete for the windows that get all the attention.

You know, the assholes.

I was off in the daytime, but scheduled to do night lunches starting at 7 PM. Sister had a full shift, 3-11 PM, which coincided with the beginning of the protest/riots, and same end-of-shift as I. I had half a laffy taffy, and enough entertainment to keep me amused. I escorted Sister to work, then would kill time around downtown until 7 PM. I could find ways to kill four hours downtown, especially when everything’s open.

I have also been spending a lot of time at Dizzy’s. I schemed to kill a couple hours with her and the kitty, hopefully in celebration. She had a telephone interview just before the protest/riots were to begin. Between that and the sewer and light rail construction, it was pretty damn noisy. A persistent shrill, white-noise drone mixed with sirens and helicopters. Soon there will be drums and chanting.

I dodged the outskirts of the protest/riot. Made some phone calls, saw some folks. A couple hand-to-hands later and I had full amusement. Painkillers and long walks are two of my favorite things. Like chocolate and peanut butter, they go well together. I moved from bench to bench, waiting for the crowd to start moving. I texted Dizzy, hoping for good news. No call so far. “Maybe I’ll send them a polite email.”

“Maybe they’re testing your patience, in more ways than one…” Trying to keep it light. She really wants this job, and is armed to the teeth in preparation. “Good luck.” I must have told her that twenty times yesterday.

I sat on a bench by the courthouse on Main and Broadway, just beyond the junkie throng that loiters at McDonald’s. I recognized most as customers. Oh, there’s Bucky Beaver. Skinny, methed-out, redheaded bucktoothed Jesus freak that carries a Samurai sword when the cops don’t take it away from him. I caught him stealing Little Debbies way back when, and have never forgotten. He’s nuttier than squirrel turds, and worst of all, he preaches at me! That’s a quick way to meet the Lord, Bucky. Ay-MEN-uh!

I saw the crowd of protest/rioters finally moving, so I lit out in the other direction. The new doughnut shop, Coco’s, had a few morsels left. I may swing back by if I still have a buck or two. The gal there will cut me a deal during her last hour. Sometimes.

If I’d wanted it, I should have gone back. Every other coffee and pastry shop had “Closed for May Day” signs in their window. Random doughnuts add up, and money is tight. I’ll eat something healthy later.

I saw the helicopters nearing the waterfront, so I drifted that way. I’d look in on the Waterfront Store, check out Sister’s hotel, do a drive-by of my own to make sure the protest/rioters are leaving me and mine alone. As if I could do much.

I saw folks I know. One of Rain’s “brothers.” He updated me on Rain’s situation, for which I was grateful. Just because we aren’t together doesn’t mean I don’t care. I’m glad she’s doing all right.

My timing was excellent. The queue began under Dizzy’s window, and I got across the street just before a rape-whistle and bullhorn called the crowd to attention. The MAX platform was closed, but the Waterfront Store had its doors open. That new girl from the Virgin Islands is no wimp. I’m impressed. (The other two stores locked up. I would have stayed open unless ordered otherwise. The protest/rioter’s money is just as green.) The crowd was missing Sis’s hotel by a block. I could stand and watch, or go into the bakery, where Cinnamon Girl was watching from the window.

Four stories higher, watching from the window, was Dizzy. She motioned me to come up. I was careful to pull the door closed behind me. Crimes of opportunity happen when dozens of people in black masks and hoods are running around.

Her interview had been postponed a day, so it was bong-hit-thirty. (At 4:22, no less!) We smoked and watched the parade pass. Seemed benign, except for the crowd in black bringing up the rear. It’s always them

Then we saw the riot cops pull up next to the train tracks. 8-10 of the black-clad stormtrooper-cops ran past the Yamhill Pube toward Third Avenue. Then came the first flash-bang, and it was impressive. My head was out the window, and the sound smacked me. It had to be blocks away. Dizzy touched my back. “I need to shut the window. It’s scaring Naomi.”

Dizzy’s cat, usually in the middle of every aspect of my business, had gone hiding in a big cardboard box. I opened the lid, scratched her ears, and closed the lid gently. She’ll come out when she’s ready.

Dizzy was putting on shoes and a jacket. “Let’s go see what’s happening. And buy candy!” The weed was working, and I would love to walk a lady around town.

We cruised the Upscale Mall, and Dizzy bought a beer brewed on the International Space Station. 10% stout, it sounds tempting. Not tempting enough, but tempting. I asked for the empty bottle if she decides to get rid of it.

It helped that I was getting text updates from Festus. After finding out where shit had happened, we could look from a distance to see whether we wanted to go that way or not.

We went to Rite Aid for affordable candy, and drugs. I noticed a pile of rubble by the intersection, WTF? I hope some homeless person turns this paper mache spider into an art car/camper for the summer.

It was getting close to work time, I had decisions to make. Dizzy was weed-craving a cheeseburger. The only thing decent and nearby? Killer Burger.

Man, I loves me some Killer Burger. Sure it’s ten bucks, but it automatically comes with cheese, bacon, endless fries and a pickle. If I didn’t have to work all night, and it wouldn’t knock my ass into a food coma, I would have engaged in a royal pig-out. Instead I settled for a few perfectly cooked fries. I hope I didn’t burn a hole in the box, staring at Dizzy’s burger. I decided that I’d be returning to Killer Burger soon.

I walked her home, made sure Naomi was out of the box and calmed down, stole another two French fries and made my way to work. Police in cars were circling. They would look at me for a minute, and move on.

My first lunch, at the Nightclub Store, was uneventful with one exception. Three Portland Police cars stopped in front of the store, and officers charged in. “Did a bunch of people just rush in here?”

“Other than you guys, nope.”

They looked around anyway.

“Was it a flash mob? What are we looking for?” Hell, I’m cooperative.

“It’s okay, never mind…” Officers were out the door and around the corner. I meandered to the sidewalk, following with my vapor pen and harmonica. All the respectable people had left town after the first flash-bang, hardly anything was open, and the street was deserted. Well, Carol Jr’s boyfriend was flying a sign. He waved, came to buy a coffee, and tipped me $2.50. Just when he was starting to get on my nerves. He’s good-hearted, but tiring.

Next stop was the Waterfront Store. I detoured past Sis’s hotel and grabbed the day’s newspaper, plus two large bags of empty cans and bottles. While Miss Virgin Islands was at lunch, I sorted, counted and cleaned the bottle room. $12.40 plus getting my hourly wage. Woohoo!

The longest hour of any week is the last one you spend at the Mothership. Since MAX is offline through most of downtown, I had to walk from the waterfront, and I muted my smile as I saw the human detritus, no doubt 86ed by me, get up and begin moving. Leave for an hour, or get kicked out for life.

Channel 12 News was doing live updates, and then filler shots of the broken windows at Target and Brooks Bros. (If you watch and hear harmonica in the background, that’s me!) Voorhees was my co-worker, so the hour was mellower than usual, and certainly more civil. He got me done a few minutes early, and I moseyed back down to the Waterfront to meet up with Sis.

In all, May Day was a success. No wild one-night-stands, no necking in the MAX tunnels and Washington Park. No fires at work, or broken windows. It pays to stay open. Hungry rioters might even break more stuff!

On the upside, I had a lovely afternoon with Dizzy, amidst the explosions and distractions. I’m allowing myself to relax around her, finally. The majority of our friendship has been with me in a relationship with someone else, and while nothing physical was going on, I did feel kinda guilty. (The phrase ‘If it feels wrong, it probably is’ haunted me.) I am not blind, or oblivious. Dizzy is stunningly beautiful, and a ton of fun to be around. But, for once in my life, with Rain, I had stuck to the monogamous road. I have to keep reminding myself I’m not joined at the hips anymore.

But then, we have a perfectly good friendship, and I don’t want to screw that up. Any woman who can out-burp, out-fart or out-South Park me, and be proud of the fact?

That’s a May Day keeper.


1 Comment

  1. WhippingTom1672 said,


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: