06 October 2011

The Most Interesting Day

My day started out perfectly normal.  Then I went into the city for physiotherapy.

That's when I ran into the protesters gathered at City Hall.  I had heard on the news that a protest would be happening, and Mr. Lee at the corner store (he sells me my lottery tickets every week) had asked me about it yesterday, but I didn't think I'd actually run into them.  They were at City Hall and every time the light changed, some of them crossed 15th Street.  Chants ranged from "This is what democracy looks like" to "Stop the war, fund the poor" to "We are the 99 percent."  Signs included "I am not an ATM," (glad we cleared that up) "I have too many grievances to list in this space," "I am sick of this shit," "separate corporations and state," and "I can't afford a lobbyist."

While watching the protest, I began talking to a young man standing next to me also observing.  Conversation was stilted because he speaks French and not much English.  I, of course, speak English and not much French (although I was able to tell him in French that I speak only a little French, but me speaking in French lead to him speaking a lot of French to me.  Seriously, dude - ONLY.  A.  LITTLE!).  I also told him in Spanish that I speak a little Spanish, but he told me (in English) that he doesn't speak Spanish.  I said, "I think we have an impasse," and he laughed.

He's from Nigeria.  He's been travelling the world.  He stopped first in Germany, then somewhere else, and now Philly.  Today is Day 17 of being in Philly.  I found out that in Nigeria, everyone can go to university free, but the quality is not good.  He has no set plans, and would like to stay in the U.S. as long as possible, getting a job, working, etc.

Also, he's possibly the cutest guy I've seen in a very long time.  And also way too young for me (he's 20).

After that, physiotherapy.  I found out that the front desk woman who I adore is leaving at the end of the month to go study in Virginia.  She wants a Master's degree in Chemistry.  As if that's better than taking my co-pay twice a week!  Hmph.

Next up, I planned to go home.  But I passed by the Apple Store, where I saw a makeshift memorial.  People had stuck Post-It notes to the floor-to-ceiling glass front window and had put flowers on the sidewalk in front of the store.  I was curious about what some of the notes said, so I crossed the street to check it out.  One of them was written in Arabic, one was written in Japanese.  One was a drawing of Homer Simpson that read "Mmm, Apple."  One said, "iMiss you"

As I stood there, I started getting emotional, thinking about what it takes to see a dream come to fruition, to be an innovator, to believe in oneself...  you know, all that pie in the sky stuff.  And especially to pursue that crap when facing one's own mortality.  Apparently, my emotion was apparent (yeah, those of you who know me are SHOCKED by this - lol), because a newswoman from NBC10 asked if I wanted to say something on camera.  I turned her down, but she asked again, and when I told her that I simply didn't know what to say, she said it's just nice to express what I'm feeling.  I started out kind of dumb, but then she started actually interviewing me.

After that part was over, she and I got to talking.  She's going to law school part-time where I went to law school.  We discussed professors, classes, and what she's wanting to do with her law degree.  It was a fun conversation.

From there, I intended to head home.  But the protesters were still at City Hall.  And it was a slightly different group.  So I stood and watched for a few more minutes.  This group had an upside down U.S. flag, the Gadsden flag, and one sign that read "Can you hear me, or do I need more money?"

After that, I FINALLY made it home.


  1. Wow!!!! Let us know when your piece hits the tv :-}

    I didn't have an Apple, but I too miss Steve Jobs' presence in the world.

  2. There's a quote of Steve Jobs about making a dent in the universe or something. I think, he made more than a dent in our planet, and I'm glad he did,