Saturday, January 31, 2009

Dos Blocos, by Natania Nunubiznez

Sunday, December 21, 2008 at 1:43PM

Dos Blocos
O and I had taken over the front room on the first floor, it made it easier to monitor who came and went out the front door- who was trying to get in. It was late one night, and there before us was our gathered loot. (We had ways of getting food that required no money). Chicken and rice from Benny’s, macaroni and
cheese and sweet potatoes from Mama’s, maybe some random groceries from Diane’s line. We had some dumstered bagels and fruit. We reveled in our ability to turn cast off of this society into our nourishment. O had bought cigarettes. I think that night I had found some cds in someone’s garbage and had sold them for 4 dollars apiece so we had cash, and to top it all off we could’ve bought some vodka or been given some weed. It was the epitome of what Dos Blocos stood for, really you didn’t have to go more than two blocks or so to get what you needed then.
The loot sparkled and I remember looking at O knowing we’d have our stomachs contented, be a little high or warm and would then have fun playing with each other, all for free, in our free squat, we were sitting like bandits awaiting the cops but knowing we had the higher power of our barricades and friends at the ready. We were waiting for the fight but knew probably they would come not that night. We were bandits, thieves, connivers and here was our loot, here was our castle. And I said this to O, we relished and named all the good things with flourish, our plans for the big man, how we can get food for tomorrow, all the good stuff we had now, getting excited by our ingenuity. And when that reached a head,
sharing a cigarette.
I went down to go pee in the bucket in the corner, flashlights in my battery fading, I looked up at O struggling with the candles, at the walls of graffiti and posters and all the crap we brought in to put against the walls and windows and to weld together for barricades. Thinking about what this place was, what it meant to me... how I danced in the next room, made a lot of love and lots more friends in the apartments upstairs, of laughing down at stupid cops from the roof and watching their helicopters the next day. Knowing that if it wasn’t their plan to evict us, my daughter and I would have a chance, someplace to live. But we were already defeated. The apartment was in shambles now, going and coming from this building was far more sketchy because of the potential inevitable eviction than it ever was with the junkies that lived here, and I had to send my daughter away while I kept up the fight for this
building and hoped for the best.

I came back up the rickety ladder of a loft someone else built, and we both laughed, looked around us at the ridiculousness at what we were saying- went back on what we said..

‘actually, this place smells like shit. You know, really like someone shit in here...
And we are eating garbage.’
‘and soon we won’t even have a place to live ‘
‘yeah, and we’ll probably be in jail by the end of the week’
I curled up with him, in the echoing dripping space that was someone’s room but was actually used to be a store front long, long ago, and listened to the city outside, I remember seeing my incredibly dirty hand with its rolled cigarette moments before the candle went out and we were left in darkness.

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