Thursday, May 31, 2012

Food Day in Brooklyn - 1

We went with the others across the park, through the fields and the woods, against an equal current of those returning. It was a bright-blue day, hot. The sort of day when nothing can possibly go wrong.

I scrutinized the faces of those passing us. Some bore wry expressions. Others seemed perfectly content. But it was hard to tell the former from the latter. We continued.

I thought I heard fragments of dejected speech. Almost mocking in tone.

When we arrived the line was hundreds long and wound along the semis parked on the service road. Over the fence and beyond a wall of trees were assembled the multitudes. You couldn’t see them yet. No music was audible at the moment. But you could tell they were there.

The line was moving, but not so fast that you could see it move. It moved like a minute hand. Like the burn of a cigarette.

We commented on the youthfulness of the crowd.

I spotted Joe and Maya walking our way down the line.

“It’s a complete disaster,” proclaimed Joe, smiling faintly. Maya concurred.

They were just describing the scene—long lines for everything, no way to get a drink—when we came upon a woman on her hands and knees, vomiting spasmodically onto the pavement. A man—her man?—stood a few paces away, discussing the matter with a cop. We were struck by his lack of regard for her immediate needs—don’t you hold her hair back when she’s puking? Tell her it’ll be all right?

We parted ways with Joe and Maya, telling them we wanted to go in just to see.

Upon entry we were each handed two packs of Orbit chewing gum. Spearmint and peppermint. The gum lady’s emphatic gestures, her vendor’s tray packed with rows of cellophaned packs, her saccharine little getup—these all belied the scene we were to witness.