THE BLACK BOOT DIARIES – Yet Another Bridge Tale

THE BLACK BOOT DIARIES – Yet Another Bridge Tale

February 2010. I volunteered with some group or other to join the protest walk across the Brooklyn Bridge from Brooklyn into Manhattan.

I arrived early. I found out once there that there were a number of groups involved. One is

I also found out that the meeting point had been moved. It wasn’t so far as to be a bother getting from one to the other, but it was difficult to see the new point from the original, scheduled one.

So, I had a chat with some folks and volunteered to stay behind and direct latecomers to the new spot. To be sure they would see me, I held up a sign I was given.

During that period, I had a chance to discuss the Squidgate situation with a local muckity-muck. He (I assure you as nice a person as you would expect to meet among liberals, progressives, Democrats) was sympathetic. Then he suggested that if I would help out for a while on their stuff, that they, being quite influential would probably or possibly or maybe or perhaps help out on the Squidgate situation. He was more affirmative than that, but I know a sales pitch when I hear one.

There was not, of course, time to waste with Squidgate. And it’s not as though I took him up on his offer. Not exactly.

I hung about for thirty minutes waiting for latecomers, then I joined the walk. I was essentially the last one to start across the bridge.

Going was difficult for a while. I did stop to take a few pictures whenever the line slowed down. And I continued to hold the sign. Why not?

Then I saw the TV cameras. I suddenly got an urge to unzip my jacket. That there happened to be a Free the Squid t-shirt underneath, now revealed for the TV, well…

At any rate, I became quite confused when I was told repeatedly to “get in line.” Apparently there is some sort of order, or pattern that I just could not suss out about crossing the Brooklyn Bridge en masse.

This continued on and off again and I absolutely did not move ahead whenever there was someone looking who had previously told me to “stay in line.” I just wouldn’t do that. Wouldn’t be prudent.

I was extremely confused though, when I finally made it across the bridge and could not figure out which direction to go. Had the leaders of the group somehow been separated from the rest of us? Had there been some delay between the front of the line that forced a long lull for the rest of us?

A policeman explained it to me as I sat eating a hotdog pondering this oddity.

“No, you’re the first.”

I looked back at the bridge in amazement and saw, more than a hundred yards away, the front of the line. It took them twenty minutes to reach me. I started half an hour late and arrived twenty minutes early.

I’m really not entirely certain what that means. “You fall so far behind, you end in first place” ? Time travel ? You be the judge!!!



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