Friday, August 27 12:10-1:10 pm
Chase Plaza (Madison and Dearborn)
“You’re going to have to move off the property, you are offending some of our customers”
It was hard to get situated. We looked for the right location, the right place to put our sign, to put ourselves. We thought about going down by the fountain, it has a sunken plaza, well below street level, but we thought we might be missed. It was awkward placement, I felt. But we commenced to hugging. Our sign was in the middle of the sidewalk, and we were down the short stairway, in sight of passerby.
After 10 or 15 minutes, a security guard came out and investigated our sign. She looked all around, even asked some people passing by if they knew anything about it. I saw her and waved so she would see it was ours. She did not see us. ? She went inside. A few minutes later, she was back again, NOW she saw us. She came and asked if the sign belonged to us. She said she could not have it in on Chase property, and we would have to move it. Funny, the sidewalk being property of Chase. We didn’t argue the point, we just moved the sign closer to the curb. Apparently fine. We went back to hugging.
10 minutes later, she came to us again. We were offending some of the employees of the building. Chase employees? Other companies? What was offensive? Why? We had so many questions. She did not have the answers though, clearly, she was just following orders. So this time, we ourselves, moved to the sidewalk, closer to the curb.
We continued to hug. We had several visitors, friends, and passerby who really enjoyed us, our idea, our action. Some clearly flirtatious. Some with big smiles spreading. Some with skepticism. Some with that look of “whatever” or “weirdos”. You know that look. Today I feel like I punched the timecard for hug. Did the job. I don’t feel the emotional strength I usually do, or the spiritual power. I don’t know why.
I read this paragraph again, and think, what happened? As I look for photos, I remember this man who hugged us. I remember how genuine he was, how he expressed his acknowledgment. I think about my 4 coworkers who came to eat their lunch outside and watch the reactions of those passerby. I remember the feeling of Aurora and me, embraced with both a firmness and a softness I look for in every hug now. And the sentiment comes. Only now I can feel the defensiveness drop away, upon my reflection of the moment passed. I think I just actively changed a memory. 🙂