Substantial Waste Of Your Time, or: Why I Feel Accomplished

My cat is drunk.

The idea for a public blog came to me on the bus this evening, on the way back from what can only be described as the most perplexing 20-minute shift of all time (I’ll yell about my job in a later post, when I have nothing else to write on).  As I sat there listening to people fumbling with their phones and yelling at each other about the NBA Finals and Lebron James’ future and their gambling habits in a volume that offended even my ears made deaf by years of hardcore punk shows, I asked myself what I should write about.

Obviously, nothing came to mind, so I scrapped the idea.  And then, when I got home, I got into the whiskey.

My throat is sore as all hell at the moment and my tonsils are roughly the size of grapefruits, and so logically I tapped into the pint of whiskey I had at my disposal because, hey, I don’t see a doctor till tomorrow, so screw it, I need a natural painkiller (working wonderfully, in case anyone’s wondering).

I attempted a tumblr account before, but that site is a mired mesh of hipster trends, whiny kids, and what is apparently the bastard child of twitter and photobucket so I gave up on that one.  Also, I had roughly three followers at any given time.  It was also, more or less, a trial period to see if I could really get into political commentary, ultimately giving me the career path I’m pursuing today.

That’s all the personal information you get.  Now we start off into the real shit.  Down the rabbit hole, everyone, and this is a one-way ticket, mind you.  Yes sir, it’s time for the story of my participation in the protests in Madison in February and the near-death blizzard hell experience that resulted from it.  And my God, is it a story.

*****

Day 1:

We arrived in Madison somewhere around midnight on a Saturday in late February.  The Capitol building loomed empty in the distance, a catalyst for what we would experience over the following few days, lost in the grip of an alcoholic political frenzy.  Fear overcame me then, the fear that horrible things were bound to happen to us.  That we had arrived on the climax of the whole ordeal.  That no matter what, we would be the ones screwed over and arrested.  It was irrational and totally fucking stupid in retrospect, but at the time real and prominent in my mind.

We parked about a block away from our host’s apartment.  It was cold and raining.  The ice would prove a bastard  in later days but at the moment we gave it no thought, lost in the adrenaline rush of opposition.

Walking into the studio apartment we were wet and freezing.  Luckily, beer for warmth by was provided by our host to whom I am infinitely indebted.

The night passed without incident.  We drank vodka and beer and watched movies and TV shows.

After our hangovers had subsided in the morning we wandered towards the Capitol building.

That Sunday the weather was against us.  It was cold, misty, foggy, rainy, and miserable.  Few walked around the perimeter of the building, but those of us brave enough to bear the shit-weather were as vocal as our lungs would allow.

Our signs were unconventional at best.  “Drunks against Walker,” and “Scott Walker is a drunk trailer park supervisor,” will always prevail in my memory as highlights of our Sunday Madison debauchery.  The former got us a standing ovation at a bar, and when we realized we were going the wrong way we received an even bigger applause upon retreating towards our intended direction.

When I entered the Capitol building itself, I was overwhelmed with a high unlike any drug can provide.

Few will be able to recall the power of their first entrance of the rotundra, but I remember it vividly though I was drunk.  Drums pounded aghast the wail of the injustice we pressed against in the rhythms of the dead Vietnam protests, cries levered against greed-lead votes.  It hit you like a fucking truck.  Signs posted over signs posted over signs.  The multitudes of booths organized, dedicated to various issues regarding Walker’s bill and governance.  Papers and beds littered the hallways like garbage in an alley though at their worst they were lost and forgotten, doves fucked in the blind light of morning, left behind but for the fleeting memory of something once important.

We grabbed drinks in the stalls of the bathrooms, sipping from whiskey bottles hidden in backpacks and bags inconspicuous.

The rhythms pounded in a growing crescendo as the day grew on, our numbers and dedication increasing.

I slept that afternoon after nights of suffering from chronic insomnia, comfortable in the fact that what we were doing was somehow right, and that we were the ones on the forefront of it all.  Walker was the antithesis of what we voted for in November to be sure, but not even we, though liberal as all hell, expected this from a right-wing governor.  The brutal assault on all public workers save firemen and policemen was beyond us.  Hadn’t Wisconsin been a Democratic state it’s entirety?   Hadn’t Milwaukee voted in and been witness to the first Socialist mayor in American history?  Hadn’t my teachers been prolific?  I could only name roughly three, in the mire of it all, who had been less minimally proficient, and they were all gym teachers anyways so they didn’t count in all honesty.  Seriously, fuck learning gymnastics.  That never aided in my personal gains.

And yet I sit here four months later, reveling in the memories of being plastered in mist and rain, lost but for our shitty signs and routine wandering around the Capitol on day 1 of my journey to Madison, confused and bewildered as to how things had even come to this point.

It’s fucked.

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