For a while we had an office space. It didn’t last long, but it was a place to calm down and brush my hair without being in a mall bathroom. A few months later, we got a warehouse. We built small rooms in it. We made a kitchen. We made it our own little “Anarchist Commune”, which was more of a big cement room filled with people who had never lived on their own. It was our home. Many of the Occupy Cleveland members who covered most of the tent shifts lived there. We split up shifts at the tent and the warehouse was where we would rest and find our sanity. Some of the shifts felt like we were stranded on an island, forgotten. We counted the minutes until Kathy brought breakfast or waiting for the next occupier to arrive and relieve us. Our shifts were eight hours but they often ended up being longer. We were fighting for something though, right? Surely it had to affect something. We wanted to change the world.
I fell in love around this time. I had finally decided to date for the first time in a year. Brandon was one of the most amazing people I had ever met. He was sweet and the kindest boy I knew. We did tent shifts together, took care of one another, and traveled together. He kept me safe from getting arrested in St. Louis. He kept me away from danger so I could live stream. We would stay up all night hanging with everyone back at the warehouse. Among them was Connor, Skelly, and Tony. Doug came over sometimes, too, but he had a job. He had met Shaq. It wasn’t long before Shaq had conned the other boys to work for him as well. They were so excited. Doug once told me that he had finally found a father figure and he had never been so happy in his life. He spoke of how cool this guy was. I was so happy for all of them. They had found jobs when none of us could.
Their boss had even given them a house, rent free, as long as they fixed it up. They were still at the warehouse a lot, though. Soon, we were trying to plan for Heart fest. We had a vision of this awesome Occupy event to bring the community together. The city didn’t exactly make it easy for us, but we tried our best. There would not be a huge turn out. The last day of the Heart Fest would be May 1st. We planned to have a huge rally at General Electric. I was going to live stream the event. We spent night after night painting and sewing banners. I went to bed early the night before to get rest before the rally. Everyone was paranoid that there was going to be cops and that they were going to raid the warehouse! I thought it was funny. Why would they worry about a bunch of punk kids sitting on the sidewalk holding signs? I figured they hardly knew that we existed. Anyone that thought someone was an undercover, I deemed paranoid. I didn’t know how wrong I was.
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