Sleeping in dank, sweaty, sleeping bag on a concrete floor, my lungs full of sickness; it was the perfect solution to cure the fatigue of the day before. immediately as I awoke however, myself and everyone else conscience was bombarded with the fact that we had one hour to leave the warehouse. I cursed myself because I had yet to find an alternative place to live. In the battle against New York, the Bronx landed the first jab. Not a knockout blow, just a sharp tap on the jaw, testing my reflexes, seeing how I would react and counter.
Walking to the breakfast room I met an old friend from OA, Sean, and he joined our party. I said goodbye to friends and wished them well on their journey and then T, Sean, and I led by our hosts Isis Cat and Young Cougar walked to the ferry.
It was a grandiose piece of architecture made home on the restless waves of the sea. The cool winds rushed through my hair and every negative thought I previously had was carried away behind me into the past. The squat was a close distance to the ferry. A humble, green house with boarded windows and doors. The inside however was devoid of any light with debris scattered everywhere. The fact that there was complete darkness helped actually. It forced my eyes to focus only on the dimly lit trail ahead of me and not any of the possible dangerous that may have been lurking elsewhere.
Three flights of stairs we climbed and combined with our gear and my newfound shitty lungs, felt like we were hiking a mountain. When we finally reached the top, our first sight was the sunlight streaming through two windows on adjacent ends of the room, illuminating a golden treasure after hours of laborious digging. I’m not saying the place was the Ritz Carlton, sure it had its own problems, like the questionable bowl of brownish-yellow water, strong smell of mildew coming from the damp mattress and the cluster of gnats flying around but compared to the rest of the house, yeah, it was the fucking Ritz Carlton.
This journey complete, T, Sean and I unloaded our cargo and went sight-seeing around Staten Island or as T liked to call it, Shaolin. Our sight-seeing eventually led us to the St George library and there we decided to attend the free school classes at the park. Along the way there however we ran into a friend of Sean and we made plans to protest an Obama event that was supposed to take place later in the day. While eating pizza, in between my grade school day dreams of my new-found crush that worked as cashier and chomps of hot, cheese, pizza followed by scalding sips of coffee, we learned that the Obama protest got pushed back to 8pm meaning we had five full hours to explore.
We decided to meet our friend Jason at the Apollo theater in Harlem. With no desire to waste money on the subway, we walked it out. An untold amount of steps were taken and the tinted blue sky was fading to a shade when we arrived at Time Square. After a short break we resumed our quest for Harlem but New York, in a follow-up to its initial jab, had now advanced again with a stout karate punch to the chest in the form of drenching, heavy rainfall. Our group soldiered on and even met a MMA fighter along the way who sadly enough, his only claim to fame was that he knocked out Kimbo Slice.
Eventually we had to retreat under a structure. I don’t know why that particular structure, maybe it was the fresh smell of green in rotation but in any case we were there and had a nice chat with the folks entrapped with us. One of them, a woman named Ty hit off pretty well with T and when the rain let up she followed us to the showdown against Obama. Unfortunately NYPD had the entire street blocked so no one was entering. We bade farewell to Ty and embarked on a new quest, a mission to find a restaurant named Croxlys who legend stated sold hot wings valued at only ten cents each.
After what seemed like hours of subway hopping and street walking, we finally found Croxlys. Now safely at our destination we had another task in front of us; how to get the most fun but at the cheapest price. It came down to at least 20+ ounces of alcohol, 40 wings, and nacho madness. it took us 3 hours but we finally finished our meal down tot he bone. The night still young we wandered into a bar in the Village and before long drank more beers and partied with the locals.
We befriended a man named Jay, whose spirit animal was a warthog and after learning that it was my birthday, bought us all shots and a beer. After an extremely enlightening night we said goodbye to our new friends and decided to head home. Along the way we met a lively bunch of blue-eyed blondes from Switzerland who wanted to know “where the party was.” We joked around with them for a bit then continued on. Maybe 30 minutes later we ran into them again and stopped them from ordering food at McDonalds (blame the activist in me) and instead got them to buy pizza. We took a group picture with them and somehow finally made it back to the ferry.
At this point the mood was somber on account of everyone being dead fucking tired. And I did something I’ve never before done, something I had a great honor in but now that honor is no more. I barfed on account of over drinking. It wasn’t an ungodly amount, just a few gulpfuls. And I didn’t make a big scene and do it all over the floor, no, I quietly and respectfully walked over to the garbage can, handled my business and got off the ferry.
We climbed back up to our special suite in the squat and retired for the night. Best fucking birthday ever.