Into the Belly of the Beast

So the park rangers retreated for a bit, back at their ATV while I lay on a Pakistani [hey, I am not kidding; the tag with instructions is in Urdu] Army sleeping bag.

Up the trail from me in the opposite direction from the gender-balanced Sworn Officers of the Court approached a stranger.  “Welcome, pilgrim!” doing a rather weak John Wayne.

“Hey I know you!  I used to have a small Persian rug shop, on Broadway and Northeast 22nd, and you and your sons used to come by on your walks.”

Well, neighbor, this is the fulcrum of Occupy Mount Tabor, right before you.  His name, he told me, was Gregory.  At 2:10, first three, then three more police officers arrived, all on gasoline-fume-spewing ATVs and I was arrested within the next quarter-hour (I really wasn’t looking at my watch or making a journal entry at the time when they put the bracelets on.  But I do want to thank Officer Brown who asked me, before the cuffing, whether I had any shoulder problems.  I do  {I laugh at reports that the famous former prisoner of the North Vietnamese government Senator John McCain cannot lift one arm above his shoulder due to his enduring torture at the hands of his North Vietnamese hosts; hell, I can barely lift my left arm to my shoulder without pain and that disability came free, with age!}, and the young man put on what he called “double cuffs” in order to give me a little more body flexibility.

Gregory stayed with me all through the verbal fencing, the formal issuance, in duplicate, of not one but two written legal forms (At the trial of Atahualpa by Pizarro in the conquest of Peru in 1532 the priests held the Bible aloft to witness the heresy of the person before it, an Inca ruler illiterate and unable to understand either the Latin in which the apparently regarded as conscious Book was written or the Spanish in which the priests spoke and in which the trial was being conducted, without benefit of translation.  This reminded me of that), the marching to the kerb while handcuffed, and throughout the wait for the police car to arrive to take me to Portland’s jail.  He offered to contact my wife for me, even then, surrounded by police officers and rangers, and I said no, she’d known about the possibility already.  How many protesters go out the door in the morning saying, Honey, I may not be back tonight, or tomorrow either.  I expect to be home, if they arrest me, after 48 hours?

The Portland police officer driving the squad car was named Doris.  Officer Lile, in tactical control of the 6-man squad, introduced me.  I must admit to a grave mistake: when Lile asked me whether I, sunning myself in (my son lets me know unfashionably short) shorts and underwear, wanted to get dressed, I said No.  He objected that I ought at least to wear the leather slippers I had with me, but again I refused; incidentally the fact that the park rangers sent on after me the slippers in a plastic property bags made it possible, after release, to walk home.  So I went off doing a Rip City Gandhi impersonation, a near naked fakir of a former educator, into arrest and booking.

About M. Meo

Worked as translator, museum technician, truck lumper, lecture demonstrator, teacher (of English as a Second Language, science, math). Married for 25 years, 2 boys aged 18 & 16 (both on the Grant cross-country team). A couple of scholarly publications in the history of science. Two years in federal penitentiary, 1970/71, for refusing the draft.
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