Sonja: A chapter from Occupied (Part 2)
Ivan came back from SIS, which was located only a few blocks down from the park, with that still dazed look of a child lost at the fair, on his face, as if he were unsure if he would ever again find his familiars, to relay to Sonja and myself, that SIS would not be providing us with any of the items on the list, if anything, their request was that we continue to send the donations we were recieving in the park down to them, so that they could be inventoried, and then sent back to us as needed.
Having spent a bit of time with SIS, my experience had been exactly the opposite, which is not to say that important things were never done in there, or that key items were never sent out, although they seemed more often to disappear into the private bags of SIS crew, or to be sent out to other occupations, after, of course, the indoor occupiers had made their appropriations, rather than to our own park, which often needed items that SIS would not provide. But my experience had been one of less inventoring and all it’s needed seriousness, given the circumstances, and attention to detail, and instead alot of social slacking and gathering, eating communal ice cream, being particularly catty and isolationist, although in an alternative hippy type of way, which is interesting in and of itself, and having privelaged access to a set of bathrooms that was not on offer to most occupiers, without there being alot of hassle and red tape involved, administered with discretion and by alt. hippy social standing, to perhaps allow you one, painfully long sought, and peaceful piss.
I turned to Sonja and the rest of the comfort crew and told them that I didn’t think that we should be sending anything else down to them, as far as I was concerned, they already had the most cherished and needed items, including top of the line weather proof tents, which they would not administer within the park, leaving some people to sleep under the most make-shift tarp and rope allignments, which left them cringing at night as the cold ate away into their bones, numbing even their minds, and making cruelty, sometimes, all the more prevalent amongst eachother.
At that point Sonja made an excellent suggestion, that we might continue to send in bags of donations we were recieving to SIS, only after we had gone through them, extracting the clothing and other materials that were in the best condition and also among what was most lacking in our station. The only unfortunate thing was that tents were not usually an item people brought directly to us, and when, on the off chance they were, they usally were not in any kind of usable condition.
“So that’s what we’ll do then”, I said. I took a temperature check on the proposal, which was, at this point, and under this unbearable cold, only a formality, where, it seemed, almost anything could be agreed to. “Lets go through this shit we have right here”, Sonja bellowed, with the resentment of being fucked over ingrained deeply in her tone, “We’ll put whats worth keeping in one bin, then put them in their seperate bins after”, I added.
Hands crippled with the cold, ripped into black garbage bags, and each with their pair of winter pain, began assessing the donations, and siphoning off what might be needed, sooner rather than later.