serial of The Free. Ch 19. Occupied Shoes

every Friday

Act two  Chapter nineteen

 Occupied Shoes

-‘Why can’t she have you as well? Why can’t she? Bloody hell!’-


‘But Maxie, it’s the middle of the night.’–  Macker complained.

Next morning. And I’d woken much too early, from another guilt ridden dream, featuring a

strange version of the diabolical Killian Bate. Macker was so groggy I let him slumber again.

Then I noticed I felt good, and I was singing to myself while I got everything ready.

Forgetting the dream.

Trembling to the memory of our bodies together.

Finally I hugged him awake, he’s cuddly, and ordered him into the shower.

Soon I poked in my curious head…

 -‘Hey Macker I found your clean trousers, uh, Macker?’-

 No answer. Just the swoosh of water.

 -’Hey I’m going down to breakfast. I need to talk to Maggie before she goes out.’-

I didn’t have to go to work, but I had loads of work I had to do.

I peeped round the shower curtain. Empty!

In the same instant warm wet hands were sliding round my tummy.

Yelping with surprise I twisted into his arms.

‘You nearly scared the shite out of me.’-

He had slipped away. Stopped the shower.

‘Just half a minute and I’ll come down with you.’-


Hopping on one foot, tugging cut-off tights up a wet leg.

-‘It’s past eight already.’-  I said, staring involuntarily.

Sucking my tongue not to laugh, as he bounced and hopped. Why are men’s fiddly bits so hilarious?

‘Hang on, here are your clean pants.’- I forgot they were in my hand.

 -‘No, look, I have a super pocket-belt, from the free shop yesterday.’-     [ref.14 Free Shops.p.454]

-‘Very cool wizard.. Let’s go then.’-

-‘But this Earth shirt doesn’t even cover me belly.;’-

-‘It’s just to keep cool. And show off your yummy tummy.’-

-‘Yes well, um, Maxie..? Er….’-

‘You’re gonna fall over.’- I grabbed his elbow.

-‘Listen Maxie, um, it was really great sleeping with you and.. I liked it a lot um, like I’m sorry I’m so young, and, did you like.. did you..?’-

 He was too shy to ask me up front.

 -‘You’re putting that on inside out now, come on, hands up, that’s a good boy…’- I turned him round and pulled off the half length waistcoat.

‘You’re my gorgeous new friend.. Just don’t be getting ideas that I’m your woman or anything but.’

-‘Yeah sure okay and..’-

 -‘Just friends, like very’-  I was nibbling his neck like a rabbit  -‘er, very close friends.’-

  -‘That’s cool but..’- He shivered.

-‘Extremely close friends.’- I was getting high on him again. -‘But don’t be jealous if I get together with Barney today. I don’t want him feeling left out. He’s being polite and horrible. I know he’d dead jealous but he has no right, and I can’t live with someone like that…’-

-‘Don’t I look totally weird?’

He was doubting his outfit, twisting in my arms to see the mirror. Anticipating embarrassing hilarity.

-‘Let’s see you now. You’re a perfect Earth Clanner, just relax.’–  I said.

Holding in a hundred thousand giggles.

On the way down for breakfast we had another last kiss on the stairs. I was giving him a good checking over.

Better late than stressing.

I was in hopelessly happy mode, with my very own magic boy friend.

We could hear the television news blaring up from the kitchen. For some seconds it didn’t even register.

Then my brain switched on.

-‘Oh shit. Something bad has happened. They never watch TV at breakfast. Oh shit shit and I had a bad dream again, uh..’-

-‘A dream? What about?’- he asked.

-‘I don’t know but.. They were burning us. Like witches… Killian’s Hoods were burning Barney… Oh Macker…’-

I was an instant neurotic wreck. Cowering back and gnawing at my white knuckles. But Macker swung open the kitchen door and went straight in.

            -‘Morning all. Morning Bernie. Morning Maggie.. Howaya Josie how’s tricks honey-bunch?.’-

           -‘It’s ‘What’s for lunch honey-bunch?’ Silly billy.’-

            -‘Wow Macker. I fancy the cool gear. Hey look everybody!’- said Maggie. But her eyes were really on me and she took my arm.

I had followed him in, and was compulsively cuddling Moonbeam in her high chair.

-‘What happened. Something bad?’- I managed in asqueaky voice. Glancing up at the little screen.

            -‘An eviction alarm, the Free Union again’- said Maggie.-‘and er, Barney and Lucia went, and Sol.. Hey look, there he is!’-

Jerry pointed and all eyes went to the TV, on the shelf above the sink.  We could see Sol, standing on

the roof of a parked car. Filming a yelling crowd who were pressing up a street of ugly warehouses.

The image jumped to a banner. Unfurling from a rooftop. We could hear distorted cheers. Panning to three panicked cops and a running security man. Being allowed to run away. One holding up his pants, another stumbling.

Scrambling away in a panic, from a hooting gang of Yeti Clanners…

  -‘Yes yes folks that was the scene here just a few short minutes ago.’- came the commentary. -‘The re-squat is being completed right now. Live and direct. This is the latest er, venture of the socialized Ballihoki Shoes Group. The one that went bust last September.

 For those who have just joined us. The warehouse was brutally evicted earlier this morning. Even though the Workers’ Pool had an agreement with the owner, who later acknowledged this on Triple Pool TV. Coming to you live…’-


Everyone was clapping, I was clapping my hands with Moonbeam’s inside them.

‘They should have woken us up.’- I said.

-‘You went the last two times.’- said Bernie. Rolling her smiley wrinkles and nodding at Macker beside us.

-‘There was a firebombing as well, there’ll be a demo for that later on if you…’-

-‘Oh shit no, was Barney hurt?’- I blurted, remembering my dream.

-‘Barney wasn’t even there.’-  said Maggie.

-‘The toast, who wants more toast?’- Bernie called.

  -‘It was a Gay Center out in Burfield. I know some of them.’- said Jerry. His face white and tense -‘One fella was quite badly burned.’-

Macker’s widening eyes met mine, a magnet was pulling us together. He knew I had dreamed of fire.

 -‘How sick they are. But they caught them.’–  I said to Jerry.

-‘Yeah, how did you know? They got both of them already and showed a video of them trying to escape.’- said Maggie.

Waving her fists, then standing, hands on hips. .

  -‘Thugs hired by religious fascists, in the pay of The Brother-Hood. You’ll see, they’re going to town on the publicity.’        [ref. 18,  and ref.12 anti nationalist and fascist 

-‘Quite right too. Imagine if Killian Bate got into power..’-  I said. Taking Jerry’s shaky hands.

-‘Those warped bastards are just waiting for their chance.’- he said angrily. -‘We gotta remember they haven’t gone away.’-


-‘Are you finished Josie come on you need your mack and your bike helmet. They’ll be here in five minutes.’- said Bernie

 -‘I’m ready Mum. But I need my swimming things.’– she said. Swinging her pigtails.

-‘They’re here. Did you put your snack in your bag?’-

  -‘Oh look look there’s a police charge!’–  Jerry broke in.The TV had flashed back to the docks from an election day interview.

  -‘Stupid pig bastards. They could kill somebody!’– I said.

 -‘Is that Barney in the middle?’-  Macker asked.

 -‘Let’s all go down there.’– I said, looking for my umbrella and feeling panicky

-‘Let’s go now!’- Maggie agreed. –‘Moonbeam can stay in the play-group, it’s on the way, more or less.’-

-‘Well I don’t have time’- said Bernie –‘I’ll go straight to work, just till eleven, then I have to meet Sol..’-


Macker was clearing off the table. The doorbell was ringing.-’That’ll be your friends Josie. Bye bye and be super careful okay.’- Bernie was kissing and double kissing her daughter who pulled away-‘I want to go to the riot it’s not fair..’- she moaned. Pushing her bicycle through.

‘I’ll be ready to go in three minutes.’- said Jerry. -‘Don’t forget Maxie we have that reception at half two.’-

‘Mierda. I wanted to go swimming with Macker.’- I said, and my arm slid round his waist.

 -‘I’m off as well.’- said Bernie checking her bag. –‘I hope to see you all in the Gobble-de-gook for lunch. I’ve got some snacks.’-

  -‘Sure thing, if we’re not banged up in the slammer.’- I observed.

  -‘No way. We’ll w-walk all over them.’- Jerry exclaimed. -‘I guess some Free mole in the cops set this up, just to m-make us get stronger, I mean..’-

  -‘My tyre is flat.. oh bollocks.’- says I. Squeezing the flaccid tube.

  -‘We can walk it in half an hour. Even with the pram.’- said Maggie –‘Anyone seen Moonbeam’s woolly hat?’-

  -‘But it’s boiling outside.’- I protested.

-‘Yeah but they’re predicting a mini hurricane tonight if ..’-

 -‘Don’t you believe it. That just means there’s a chance of it and they’re afraid to be wrong.’- said Bernie.

 -‘They s-said it’ll probably hit the South more than here.’-  Jerry agreed.

-‘Let’s check all the windows are closed.’-  Maggie glanced into the greenhouse.

  -‘Should we disconnect the lekky then?’- I asked.

-‘No no there’s classes here this morning, silly.’-

-‘Let’s just go. We’re going now!’- says I.

Taking Macker’s hand and pulling him out, he had to hop and wave.


Eight fifteen am., but Little Agnes Street was busy busy. Moonbeam had to be strapped down forceably in the buggy. But now she was happy already, weaving in and out, as a throng of helmeted yunkers passed by.

Clean-air cars popped and hooted at dodging, daredevil bikes. It was hot, yet the wind whipped up litter, and bits of leaves and sticks. Swirling around us.

Me and Macker, arm in arm and pally together. I couldn’t stop touching him.

Maggie conversing with Jerry, who still looked shook up about the gay Club. We were taking turns to push Moonbeam in the pram.

 -‘We’ll go and see the Circus school after this, okay.’– I was saying.

Then an odd thing happened.

A traveller with a horse and cart had pulled up on the pavement, delivering ammonia fuel in gas  bottles.

Macker bounded over to him.

-‘Howaya hanging there?’- he greeted.

-‘Hey Mucdunna. Your Da still in the Loony Bin?’-

 -‘My father has bravely departed this life, forever. He was a famous diver.’- replied Macker. With well rehearsed dignity.

-‘Looney Tunes.’-  he replied. But less sure.

‘Hey Gaybo are you going down the depot for more bottles? I see you just got empties.’-

 -‘You’re right as it happens.’- said the traveller.

 -‘Give us a lift and I’ll owe you a favour.’- said Macker, nodding and grinning.

  -‘ Hop up so.’-

Macker’s face lit up and he swung round to me, thumbs raised.

-‘Hop up so.’

Later he explained it to me. With three little words he was in, not out.  Tolerated instead of ostracized.

‘Hop up so.’- Gaybo repeated impatiently.

 -‘You just changed my life.. Oh and a coupla friends, and a pram. For a favour.’

  -‘A favour bejayzes.’– said Gaybo. Waving us benevolently onto the cart. –‘The famous Macker Mucdunna owes me a favour.’-

 I gave that skinny horse my apple core.

Hopped up the cartwheel and snuggled up to Macker on the bench.

In five seconds flat Moonbeam was up on our knees.


Sol had stopped filming and was getting agitated, waving his arms at me and Lucia in the crowd., pointing at the faraway police. A small brown balding man, on top of a white electric-pickup, yelling and waving his arms.

 -‘Hey Barney, Lucia, they gonna charge. Hey look. Hey look they make the lines hey people look look..they’re gonna attack,  nos van a atacar ya!..Hey hey..’

It was only eight in the morning, but the normally relaxed street of factory units, old warehouses and little terraced houses had filled up, chock a block. We were all stood about chatting in big and small groups in front of the banner draped factory, which was graffitied and bedecked with flags.

I was pretty sleepy, but Lucy was bouncy and cheery, gesticulating and asking dificult questions. I was chuffed as hell just to be with her alright.        [ref. 27,  ref.28 Spanish Revolution]

Jeers and jokes. Whistles. Greetings and goodbyes…

The place was an extension of the famous Balihoki Shoes, a popular local brand now run by an

employees Pool, and expanding because imports had stopped arriving, between the crisis and the impossible weather.

It had been evicted in a semi surprise, pre-dawn, police operation. We had got there for the triumphant re-occupation, with a fast growing crowd of supporters.

They had a telephone tree alarm, though I was already awake.

   It was a hot and sweaty morning already, though it was before eight when me and Lucy arrived at the eviction scene. In time for the imminent re-squat.

The breeze threw dust in our eyes. Trays of drinks were being brought out for us supporters. Many were leaving already, but even more arriving.

Shouts, laughter. The cops had inexplicably cocked up.

Even the owner had spoken to a TV reporter in favor of the occupiers!

Our indignation turned to belly-laughs. Gossiping, in a chummy scrum of bantering friends..

  -‘What’s on the menu today then?’-  asked Billy.

   -‘We’re a few sambos short of a picnic.’-

 -‘Barney, hey Barney me old flower. It’s lovely to see you.’-

 -‘Hi there Peter. This is Doctor Lucia from Mexico.’-

This beaming black beauty was linking my arm and firmly holding onto me. Wow!

‘So many people.’- said Lucy. -‘But are not you at all afraid of the riot police?’

-‘This is an important social occasion. Any excuse not to go to work for us lazy bastards.’-

 -‘Who ah ya slaggin pal? I’m a hero of the fecking revolution!’- Billy claimed, spuriously.

 -‘We should all get free shoes for this, at the very least, I mean..’- Deirdre argued.

-‘Maybe you will. This lot are anarchists you know.’–  said Colm.

-‘I got mine already. Lookat here they’re deadly good.’– Moira started her tap dance routine.-‘Free Anarcho-Shoes.. Now. Now. Now!’- I chanted, clapping, and Peter at least, joined in.

Jeers and jokes, whistles. Greetings and goodbyes…

It was at that moment we heard Sol shouting, from his filming on the van roof.

-‘Hey Barney, Lucia they gonna charge. Hey look. Hey look they make the line. Hey people look, nos van a atacar ya!..’- .


There was a sharp crack. Then a whole volley of loud bangs. People ducked involuntarily. And quite rightly, as rubber bullets whizzed by and tear gas canisters landed, spewing smoke, which was fortunately whipped up and away on the wind.

 -‘Holy macaroni.’- shouted Billy.

 -‘Hold on! Hold fast! Link arms!’– shouted a hero.

But everyone ran for their lives.

It seems that Sol was the only unpanicked person, calmly filming the charging police.

Me and Lucía were not so lucky. A bicycle fell, a couple of people in front of us fell over it, then

a human wave was pushing us on top of them.

I was just about able to keep my feet, holding onto Lucy’s wrist and dragging her sideways, out of the pileup. But by then a load of screaming coppers were already upon us.

‘Lookout lookout!’-

 Lucia faced them, ducking and dodging, but got some hard whacks as they clattered by, yelling like loonies. They would always go for a woman, and she was the wrong colour.

Then the second line, I felt a belt on the right ear and saw stars. Lucia got hit again, and I got a few more hard blows while I was reeling.


  Most of the coppers had passed, but now a whole line-up of black hooting armoured vans was coming slowly towards us. We had to vanish fast, I’d spotted people in front of some terraced workers’ cottages, that began just ten meters back…

 -‘The doors. The green one I think!’- I shouted to Lucia, who was running easily in front.

The door opened like magic, just as we arrived, and we dashed straight into the hall.

It’s common practice to hold open house during riots.

  -‘Yippeee, we escaped..’- Lucy whooped.

A beardy bloke had slammed and barred the door shut behind us.

We embraced panting and spluttering, while batons or rubber bullets cracked and banged, and the vans passed by.

‘Now!’-  yelled the hairy fella at the spyhole. The door swung open again.

A yunker couple charged in, and collapsed beside us, laughing and crying, then kissing each other on the hallway floor.

‘Welcome all to Ballihoki Pool.’– says Beardy, peering out the spyhole.

  -‘Oh Barney you’re bleeding everywhere.’- says Lucia.

  -‘Oh shit…um.. It’s just my ear I think.’- It hardly hurt me then.

‘There’s paper and towels in the bathroom in there.’– says a young woman who was there as well..

  -‘Oh shit. I’m sorry. The blood.. Oh sorry Lucy I bled all over you.’-

-‘Come on in the bathroom here and we’ll stop that bleeding.’-  She led me in.

-‘It’s the filth should be sorry not you.’- said the hairy man. -‘Anybody else hurt?’-

  -‘I am a nurse assistant don’t worry.’- Lucia had pinched my ear in a paper hanky.

 -‘It’s my side and legs that hurt. But they got you as well.’-

 -‘On my culo, er, my backside, and legs, first we are stopping this blood. I put a little propolis I have here. It’s gonna sting like hell with alcohol.’-

-‘Eeeyow!’– I exclaimed, involuntarily. Fighting a wave of dizziness.

-‘Hold that on there. After this we can go to the doctor for sewing.’-

Cheers came from the hall. Lucy and I poked out our heads.

-‘The police have stopped attacking it seems. There’s about a million Clanners coming.’- said the young woman.

-‘Thank you a lot for letting us come in.’–‘Sorry for the blood.’- I said. –‘Are you in Ballihoki Shoes?’-

-‘I sure am, it’s all this area not just the factory. Me and my father here as well.’- She kissed our bloody cheeks. -‘I’m Sandra. We’re Anarcho-Syndicalists..               [ref27. Spanish revolution ]

-‘So we heard. But how’s it different from a normal Pool?..Okay they’re all different but..’-

 Sandra pulled some leaflets from the shelf.

-‘Instant democracy, recallable delegates. Swapping jobs. Report back to the assemblies and, like, so power freaks don’t have a chance and.. practical procedures from past experience..’-

    -‘Past when?’- I asked.

   -‘The CNT, in Spain… We have to go.’-she was backing out the door.

  -‘Come in here Barney, let’s finish cleaning you.’- Lucy ordered.

  -‘It’s my leg’s killing me.’– I complained.

   -‘Oh yes there’s blood coming through… Pants off please.’-

I closed the bathroom door and undid my nice Earth belts. My tights were pretty ruined.

‘I’m afraid, um, I’m not wearing anything, under, um…’-

-‘I’m the nurse now, just relax okay.’-Shreds of material were stuck in the bleeding cut.

 -‘Let’s see.. Oooh looks like they hit you with a sword.. But this one won’t need sewing.’-


I was leaning against a long bathroom wall mirror, sucking air through my teeth, while she chattered on, stroking her silky arms between my legs, dabbing with a sponge.

I’ve never met anyone with such slinky skin as Lucia, okay my experience level is pathetic. But I felt such a whoosh of dizzy pleasure when she started sliding herself around me, I thought I would float off the ground. I was trying hard not to have a total hard-on.

  -‘You’re gonna be black an blue tomorrow Mister Maguire.’-

-‘Thanks a lot Lucy you’re wonderful um, now it’s your turn…’-

Faraway cheers and loud bangs from the street.

    I leant to kiss her impulsively. But she turned away at that same moment, and my nose hit her ear. I’m not a success at romance.

-‘Oh sorry sorry.’-  she turned and hugged me.

Me and Lucia were maybe falling in love.

Lucy had slid herself against me and she didn’t let go.

Outside the riot police were running for their lives.

In O’Leary’s bathroom nurse Lucy was enjoying her role, now rubbing some cream on my welts.

  -‘Now me. Can you help me clean up my back parts er, I think I can’t sit down for a week. One

 moment I’m just finishing you, now let’s get your new pants on first okay. Coz this beautiful Dumbo is

 growing into a bean tree if we’re not careful. Hey they’re yelling a lot out there… That’s okay for now you’re a brave boy and maybe if you..’-

Grinning bemusedly I pulled on our hairy host’s turquoise shorts. Huge on the waist yet terribly tight down below..

But had she said Dumbo? Of course she had.

And she’d said it on purpose. I couldn’t believe it.

How did she know about Dumbo, a silly name Maxie used to make fun of my bent willy.

Finally I copped on to their girls-club sense of humour.

And I pictured them describing me, or it, or him, in a deluge of laughter.

I swabbed down her bottom wound, which was cut as well as bruised, and she started oohing and aahing with pain, I’m not surprised.

So I let my arms brush against her velvet skin, like she had done to me. As the implications of their gossip filtered through. I chuckled and grimaced and she was laughing too. Yeowing and grasping, as I dabbed on the alcohol mix.

So I let my fingers wander, where the masseur shouldn’t go. Feeling her yearning into me with little gasps and –‘Yes. Yes Barney please’-

I gave her the most deliciously sexy massage I’ve ever done.

Course I haven’t done many.

Explaining what I was doing and how she might feel, inviting her to take part.

Lucy liked it, moving and breathing in tune with my hands, till she was leading me.

Till she started shivering and moaning out loud, and scaring me.

I felt embarrassed and shushed her, but I kept on, I wouldn’t stop till she did.

While Lucy was moving with ever wilder abandon.

Right there at nine am. in Beardy O’Leary’s bathroom…

-‘Herb tea and snacks in the kitchen.’- Came a knock and a muffled voice.

-‘Oh..Okay we’re coming now… Come on Lucy, let’s get your clothes on.’-

-‘Vale pero..Now I am.. uh..’-


All this time I had an earphone in and I could at least press busy or divert calls to the De-school Projects office, depending what number came up. Now finally I accepted a call from Sol, as Lucia got dressed.

I passed her the mobile, and knelt painfully to  put on her sandals.

They chatted in staccato Spanish, but I got the gist.

Sol was fine of course, not a bruise  on him. He was on his way already to meet the Soli-Fest people. He had seen some of the others, Maxie and Macker, Jerry and Maggie in the crowd, but nowhere near the police charges.

They hadn’t brought our Moonbeam, just as well.

It seemed that me and Lucy had been very unlucky to get hurt.

In the kitchen there was tea and toast on the table. But nobody else there.

‘Can’t we phone the others?’- Lucy asked.

  -‘Um, yes I’ll try.’-

   -‘They wanted to go see the new Circus School, I bet Maxie heard already you got injured.’-

   -‘I’ll get the number then.. mm strawberry jam!’-

We could hear more cheering but we didn’t move. Lucy took my hand, sitting opposite, and we munched toast.

The early sun was flooding in the back window, sideways on to us, and I felt a dribble down my back, hopefully sweat not blood.

   -‘Bueno. Maybe I have to give you back to Maxie then, I just lended you don’t forget.’- said Lucy.

   -‘Ha! Borrowed me you mean. But Maxie has a new young magic friend. Right now she’s with Macker and, er, that’s fine by me.’

There was a pause. She was doing her angry eyebrow wriggling trick.

‘Anyway I’m much too old. I’m like her, her favourite uncle.. Macker’s more her age….’-

 -‘Why can’t she have you as well. Why not man.. Bloody hell!’-

 -‘I’m old enough to be her…’- But Lucy broke in.

 -‘B.B.B., Barney! I seen how she looks at you.’-

 -‘Sorry …?’-

 -‘Bullshit Baffles Brains..’- she said, surprisingly.

 -‘No no I don’t really mind at all.’- I insisted, wrongly.

 -‘You’re talking crap. You’ll ruin everything like that.’-

-‘Wh’ what..  You think..?’- I just didn’t get it.

-‘Maggie says you got the magic touch as an organizer. They got you sorting out thousands of people’s problems..’-

  -‘Well no that’s not because..’- I muttered.

-‘Then you almost destroy your own family. Just coz you got blocked by some repressed disappointment! People are weird.’-

 She turned away and examined an inspiring CNT poster on the wall.

 -‘You think..?’- I queried.

  -‘I know.  I saw this too often before…’-

A silence began, and grew too long. She didn’t speak.

-‘Well maybe yes, it’s possible I’m wrong.’– I heard myself admit. –‘Maybe I’m just too close to.. like.. Are you really sure?.. I mean.. What should I do?’-

  -‘Just pay a hell of a lot more attention to your friend Maxie. Starting yesterday, or she’s gone Barney. Bravely standing back to give her room.. para nada!.. That’s crap Barney you know it really.’-

I laughed nervously. But something really was clicking in my head. For one thing this woman was certainly in cahoots with Max and Maggie, though they’d hardly met. How did she figure all this out so fast? I laughed again.

  -‘How did you figure that out so fast?’-

  -‘Really you told me. And more, other things I didn’t understand yet. See I used to work as a healer.’-

 -‘But I never told you anything about me.’– I protested.

-‘Come on Barney now, we all show clues, como.. How you move yourself. Your tone of voice. What you don’t say. I’ve trained myself to amplify my feeling for that kind of thing that’s all.. Sometimes I can heal people by telephone!’-


I saw then that she was certainly right about Maxie. I was delighted with her for telling me, and with myself for getting it.

She made me see that by nobly pulling back to give Max her space I was only provoking a cycle of jealous resentment, just to feed the cozy self destructive melancholy I’m addicted to.

And because we lived and worked together that was gonna be more than enough to poison our mixed up family stone dead!

  -‘I’m seriously impressed.’- I said.

-‘Well maybe you downloaded a self-critical update.’- she said, cleverly.

-‘More like you just guessed the whole password.. straight off!’-

-‘Come on. Let’s get going then.  Ow ow. Mierda.. my bottom is burning.’-

I got up and washed the cups, grimacing because my injuries had stiffened as well, and turned for the door.

But Lucia stood in my way and I melted into her arms.

 -‘Thanks a million Lucy.’-

-‘Thanky panky Barney, at least you tipped the nurse….’-

 -‘You used to be a healer?.. But.. then what are you now?’- I asked.

-‘That’s for you to figure out. But I still do healing, I’m an agony aunt for Women’s Rescue.’-


She lifted both our shirts to our necks, and began sliding her golden black body around my boring pudgy white one.

-‘Clue one.. We really need a consultation every day for a week and we need to record it or better make notes in Emma’s code… So what am I now?’-          [ref.11a anti_patriarchy]

I leaned my face back and looked at her, feeling a little trapped..

A consultation? A bad translation?… I didn’t want to just guess something stupid, then it clicked.

-‘I know already, you’re a Social Revolutionary.’– I said, and she tickled me deliciously again.

You might surmise that both me and Lucia missed our meetings that morning. We had to wait to get my ear stitched up. Fortunately we persuaded the nurse that the waiting-room included the back garden of the Balihoki Pool Clinic.

So we escaped the queue and talked, lying head to head in the hot, windy grass.

I realized that I’d been dumb, and that Lucy was as clever as they come, and she really was on our side.

I needed to ask her opinion, about all the projects and requests and CLAN disputes, and problems with impossible answers, that were chasing each other about in my head that Summer..

Like trapped bats, panicking in my skull.

Lucia is able to tease out ideas and solutions, asking more and more intuitive questions, until you would come up with an answer yourself. She knows that young people need rights and freedoms same as adults.

For example the shootings and raids over resources between the Northside CLANs and the ‘richies’ Clayton Co-Op Pool. It was Lucia who suggested a binding arbitration carried out by mothers from our Pool, which was a key step in defusing the whole stupid thing.. And that was later accepted as common sense practice.

And it was her suggestion to invite the volunteer ‘Dynamators’ or facilitators from the CLANs to make larger assemblies work properly.

It was a humid, sultry morning, I stopped talking. and lay there aching with my head in her lap, forcing myself to concentrate.

While Doctor Lucy made a daisy chain.

Explaining to me, about other people and countries she’d known.

Letting me peep through her spy-hole, at a planet I hardly knew.

See Lucita, and Sol as well in his way, danced straight into the middle of our lives, like.. scattering the old magic dust behind them. They were in our federation and used to send us stuff. But mixed up with hundreds of other names and contacts.

I’m famous for knowing a lot of them, but I knew next to nothing about them as people.

Lucy did manage to know them personally. Who knows how.. I mean, how come she knew us before she even met us, just from messages?

She saw planet politics as firstly friends and families and somehow translated this mass of seemingly random information into social scenes and groups.

  People like us, each shining a spotlight on the version of the same shitty system they happen to be trapped in.

Names I’d seen on mails became real people. She knew that Baadi and Fela were depressed, because their mother had to go into a home and they could hardly pay it, and because of a split with two of their friends.

And for them this was more important than how I saw them, heroically riding the stampeded Dragon, as delegates of the horizontal Trade Union, defying the Maoists, subverting the US backed, bourgeois nationalist mafia. And the Islamists as well,

And all the assorted hit squads and hangers-on.

And why? Because they were for real, and had wide and growing passive support.

I figured out things like that, but she saw ten times more.

Talking fast and serious. I had put my phone recording her and took no calls, trying my best to understand.

Finally the trainee doctors called us in, stitched my ear, looked at our welts, took photos and said we should join a common court-case against the police.

Then we picked up some painkillers from the Co-Op pharmacist, and, still talking earnestly, or listening in my case, we headed for the Gobble-de-Gook Café.


next episode click HERE  Serial of The Free. Ch 20. Gobble-de-Gook Café

3 thoughts on “serial of The Free. Ch 19. Occupied Shoes”

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