Saturday, February 2, 2013

Dark Days

The man who "served" as mayor of New York City during its worst health panic in a century is dead.

The dreaded unavoidable posthumous confrontation with this inept crank is upon us.
I lost count of the number of times I had protested outside, and sometimes inside, buildings where Koch appeared. Those days were dark, horrible and yet energizing for those who fought. And he was The Foe for New Yorkers dying of AIDS.
For an astute summation of the relevance, read Ed Koch and the AIDS Crisis: His greatest Failure. by David France, in New York. Here is my own fictionalized variation on an encounter with hizzonor:

            Around the tables, the chanting had begun. 
“Eight years and you’ve done nothing! No more business as usual! No more business as usual!”
The noise of the crash behind the Mayor had made one of the Davids jump the gun. He and the other five protestors had originally decided to wait until the Mayor spoke the word AIDS before launching their infiltrating verbal assault. However, David had started too soon.
Kevin looked nervously across the dining room to Carissa. The two joined the Davids in their chanting while their three other conspirators began handing out flyers to each table of horrified guests. They chanted along, accompanying them as they drew closer to the Mayor, whose face turned a beet red. Most of the guests refused to take the flyers, so the protestors quickly raced from table to table, the flyers strewn across plates and glasses.
            Ritchie stood nervously as he watched what he thought were his co-workers descend on the Mayor. He felt a rise of anger. “What the hell?” Were all of them going to start screaming, leaving him standing alone, silent and abandoned in the center of it all. Lee stared, his mouth dropped open, watching Kevin, Carissa and the others swiftly evolve into charged, pointing, yelling demonstrators. For a moment, he felt confused, afraid to join in. He’d planned it with them, gone along with the meeting decisions, and now he choked. His stack of flyers lay sprawled out on the floor where Brian, Trish Fuller and Ida Pomerantz were struggling to get up. He expected a bullet to penetrate his spine at any moment. Then he thought, What’s stopping me? He felt the surge again. All he had to do was drop his tray and join them. 

Monkey Suits; remember the dark days, elegantly. 

 (G'bye, Ed. Glad I got to shout the truth in your face, at least.)

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