“Dat it? Gone already?”
“That’s it! Cops just hustled them all into a van.” Stan held his shaky friend's elbow, guiding him quietly toward tree shade.
“Adolph, we hardly knew ye!”
“Surely we couldn't hear ye. Maybe we could get a pizza and something to drink?”
"I didn't see any NAZIs. Did you?"
“Fifty miserable little trimpulists?"
"Should've let 'em hadda mic. What they wanna speech free about anyways?”
“Guess you'll have to check em out on YouTube.”
“Right. But I been sweltering here. At least I stopped sweating."
Stan leaned in catch all Abe's words. "Ok, Abe. Goody. But let's just keep walking now."
"Pimply organizers said they weren't lettin no NAZI Klansmen speak. So whud they wanna say?”
“So. Ok. Abe! Let's go sit in the shade. Search ‘Free Speech’, ‘Boston Common’, ‘Bandstand’.”
“Wait! Dey gots water over there.”
“I dunno Abe. They're pretty amped still.”
“Yo! Hello! That water for anyone? Or jest the warrior class?”
“We're out of full small ones. Can I pour?” A young man in black tights held out a gallon jug and offered a clear empty pint.
“Oh. Why thank you. A gentleman and a scholar you are. Much appreciated.”
“You don't have to pay.” A young woman, also blackclad, smiled.
“Yeah. But. Here ya go. Oops!” Abe, recovering from a partial stumble, returned her pleasant smile. “I dunno bout you, but I'm actually glad I didn't see no NAZIs.”
“They were here though," said someone through a Jesse James mask.
“Well, so were you. And so were . . . how many thousands? Overall a good day?”
From a lithe tree leaning desperado several dark paces away, "Hey didn't I see you on the bandstand?"
“Not me. Couldn't get near it. Wasn't allowed.”
"So you tried to get in there."
"I was curious. They said . . ."
From a young Errol Flynn with flowing Robin Hood hair and Captain Blood goatee, "Are you a NAZI?"
“Are you a fucking NAZI? It's a simple fucking question.”
“It's an insulting fucking question . . .”
“You won't give a direct answer! That means you're a NAZI.”
“Well, Seig Heil to you too. How can you say . . .”
“We don't talk to NAZIs!. Get the fuck outta here.”
“And where should I go? Last I knew this was a public park here since Galileo last dropped a lead lump on his toe.”
“Shut up! Get the fuck outta here. We're asking you nicely.”
“Calling me a NAZI isn't ‘nicely’, strictly speaking.”
“Shut the fuck up! Are you gonna go peacefully?”
“What gives you the right to tell me where to go in any literal sense?”
“NAZI! NAZI here! We gotta a NAZI.” One started as others chorused. “NAZI here. NAZI over here!” More converged pointing, “NAZI! NAZI! Get your red-hot NAZI! Get your ice-cold fascist! Right here! NAZI!”
From a solemn, breathy covenmother came stern instruction, "I'm asking you to leave."
“Doncha see you're doing just what real NAZIs would do?”
From the spearpoint of an oncoming dark phalanx, “We don't take advice from NAZIs! Shut the fuck up!”
“How do you know I'm a NAZI? Just cuz this guy says so?”
“I trust him more than I'd trust a NAZI.”
“Abey. Let's go! Thank you for the water.”
“Wait a minute. I just found out I wuz a NAZI. Did you know that?”
“Abe! Let's go.”
“Better listen to your friend, NAZI!”
“Get outta here, NAZI!”
“Don’t make us make you, NAZI!”
It took a dozen blackshirts, some wearing masks, to ring the hulking mass, and begin hustling him backward.
Amused, alarmed, indignant, and just ornery, Abe let his mass bulk down to the ground as forceful as a frictionless feather.
Passerby's stopped bystanding. Press members pressed in snapping shots and Ninjas pushed back to block them. Abe crawled awkwardly pursuing tossed glasses, deftly grasping them from under a dark warrior's fleet bootstep. Then, self-satisfied, he lay back to survey the surrounding melee in some semblance of blissful serenity.
“Abe! Abe! Are you alright? Can you get up? Abe?”
But round Avram Ider, now nearly one with the ages, was also one with the tumult. He was the cry and the crier, the scuff and the scuffler, the sky and the lier downer. A mature triplet of women wafted through the scrum and floated in close. One held out a hand to gentle Abe who sat up smiling to take it - though it took Stan and a few others, including one blackshirt, to hoist his heft onto unsteady feet.
Sunstruck and perplexed, he let himself be led to a shade dappled bench.
“There wuzn't enough NAZIs so they had to make do!”
“Yup, Abe, I think you made their day!”
"To think I lived long enough to become Heil Hitler!"
“A shock trooper in a stupor. Abe, you don't look so good. Let's just rest a bit here.”
"I'm a Riefenstahling Gary Cooper!"
"Super Duper. Just sit."
“Wait! Wanna give them back their bottle!”
“What? Wait! No! Don't move, Abe!”
Waddling grey faced, the weighty man propelled himself toward the encircled card table.
“Here! This yours!" he said before falling forward.
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Democracy STRUGGLES is by Joe Panzica, the author of the currently unpublished (currently unpublished)