Weather: Warm, sunny, muggy, cooling off a little later.
Number of people: 8 stoppers, 9 walkbys, 2 bike-bys
Number of hecklers: 0!
Pages of notes: 7, but I forgot my normal pen and had to use a fat green pen
Conversations between people previously unknown to one another: 1
People who commented on the Peanuts reference: 3, including 1 teenager
Inquiries as to whether I’m a real doctor: 1
Dogs spotted: 2, both from afar
Money raised for Environmental Justice League of RI: $0.35
It seems like the more people see on the map of worries and beloved places, the more they want to add to it. Three or four people added to the map today. One wrote, “Winters are going to get shorter–my favorite season.”
Lots of sign-readers-out-loud today, too.
There were people demonstrating with signs on the steps of city hall while I was talking to Kevin, a booth acquaintance of long standing.
Me: They’re exercising their freedom of speech.
Him: More like freedom of too much time on their hands.
Me: Well, I’m here. You’re here.
While the demonstrators were demonstrating, I saw two police cars and an SUV pulled up by the Greyhound/Peter Pan stop; after the demonstrators disperse, so did the two cars, while the SUV remained.
Saw three very nice warm open smiles and got a thumbs-up from a person on a bike.
I just came out of court. I gotta get a certain treatment–if not, I’m gonna have bad results.
Is it gonna be hard to do?
A little bit. It’s gonna be a challenge.
Do you have some ideas about what will help you get through it?
Counseling, I have counseling.
What about people and places that make you feel better?
Yeah, I have my friend’s house I can stay at.
Are there things that might make it harder for you to do the program?
If I fail, I’m looking at possible jail time.
Oh, I meant more like things that might happen while you’re doing it that might make it harder to finish doing it.
Anxiety. I got a lotta that.
What’s the biggest source of it right now?
This. [Points to big wheelie-suitcase with a blanket in a plastic bag on top of it.] Just luggin’ it around. I was homeless, but I had an apartment for seven years. Then the landlord lost the house, and all the tenants were the victims. My girlfriend’s on oxygen and she has to go back to our friend’s house every few hours to refill our tanks. It’s just stressful.
College. Growing up kills me! My whole life I’ve lived with my mom, I’ve depended on her. I’m scared.
Is this with the census?
[I explain what it is.]
You gotta pay for that?
You gotta pay a nickel for it.
[Puts nickel in jar] The treatment of aboriginal and indigenous people.
[Person 2 came up while I was in the middle of a long, non-climate-related conversation with Person 1.]
Person 2: There’s not that much that I can do about it, except the stuff that I do. As scary as they might be, these climate denier people are not gonna change their tune because it’s based on greed. They don’t care about the future.
Person 1: They won’t have to, because the flow of hot and cold water in the ocean is stopping.
Person 2: Did you ever see AI? They’re going to desalinate the oceans and they’ll freeze. The whole planet will turn into a cue ball.
Person 1: The planet’s gonna enter an ice age to try and cool itself. The earth has the ability to rebalance itself.
Person 2: I think the earth’s ability to rebalance itself can be balanced out with enough carbon dioxide. I’m not ready to hand the planet over to the cockroaches just yet.
*Doctor’s note: He was probably talking about this.
It’s a challenge
it’s a sign you can’t read
inimical out there
you’re careful with your wording
worlds come with you
from the high halls out
into the red and green street
the dominant light
admitting no failure
but the last failure
no way but the last station
I can do nothing for anyone
who says there’ll be
more days like this
my resting face resistant
but not torrential
after you leave
should I have been more
should I have said should
or you will or you can
in the court of personal
all ranged against
your just release
if you don’t move
it might be perfect
the options are total
stillness and total destruction
you think and feel
animal of both
when it’s exactly inverse
a funnel of darkness
from sameness to absence
or endurance only
in your deadest form
where horror is proud
to tower the future
opening into elsewhere
the world-split, the wind
the crevasse you know better
than to look into and grow
swollen and alone
we are on your water
we can’t say floating
we can say surrounded
we can say succumb
can we say besieged
who would give us permission
here in the wave we expect
daily hourly never at all
how could it be possible
such a wave here
on dry land under
the still fresh sun
how could we be possible
ever at all