The Orris: A Cultural Journal

Who Touched My Occu-Pie?

A play featuring an apple pie, and conversations between Nuxia and Lynga on their contrasting opinions of Occupy Wall Street

Act I: Making of A Pie?

This is an apartment unit with two female occupants: Nuxia and Lynga. Nuxia is 29 years old. She received a PhD in computer science before entering a research lab in Boston. Lynga is her cousin, 24, who moved to Boston after graduating from an art college a half a year ago, seeking fame in this city of art.

Lynga stands at the table, putting together a number of ingredients for her bakery. It’s not clear what she is making. Nuxia sits behind Lynga, reading. Nuxia curiously raises her eyes to look at the ingredients on the kitchen table. A five-year old television sits in a corner of the kitchen, on which news is being broadcasted of the Occupy Wall Street protesters being driven out of Zuccotti Park.

Nuxia: “Lynga, what are you trying this time? You know I’m not ready for another empirical study yet.”

Nuxia smiles and stands beside Lynga while saying these words. Lynga does not seem to enjoy Nuxia’s joke.

Lynga: “This is no experiment dude. I’m baking a pie. I’ll name it Occu-Pie.”

Nuxia immediately understands the inference.

Nuxia: “So you’re going to occupy my room just because I’m a one-percenter?”

Lynga: “Oh come on. Even if there’re only three million Ph.D.’s in the country, you’re not a one-percenter.” [1]

Nuxia: “I know. I’m just joking.”

Lynga smiles and dumps mixed ingredients into a large round pie shell, a humming sound coming from her throat, as if saying Nuxia is telling yet another bad joke.

Nuxia: “So, do you support the Occupy movement, or are you against it?”

Nuxia turns to the TV when asking this question.

Lynga: “You know my answer, don’t you?”

Nuxia: “I do. It’s always more fun hearing it coming out of your mouth.”

Lynga: “Of course I support it. Don’t you?”

Nuxia crosses her arms in front of her chest, as if announcing the start of a verbal debate.

Nuxia: “So why do you support it?”

Lynga: “Well, we’re both members of the 99 percent, aren’t we?”

Lynga pauses for a while as she moves her hands to mix butter with flour and sugar, preparing a topping for her pie.

Nuxia: “Your argument shows merit, but do I have to support this country’s decisions just because I’m a member of it: such as going to war with Afghanistan and Iraq?”

Lynga: “Hey, so … have you seen the videos online about the movement? You should see those innocent protesters being beaten by police. I have to at least do something to support them. Don’t you think so?”

Nuxia: “There is a line between sympathy and support, you know, Lynga? In fact, it’s more of a barricade than a line.”

Lynga: “OK. Let’s just say it’s sympathy.”

Nuxia: “So you don’t support it?”

Lynga: “Come on…”

Lynga laughs while dumping the topping on the pie and pushing the tray into the oven. A fresh new Occu-Pie is in the making.

Act II: Looks of the Pie

“… Guaranteeing public health and safety, and guaranteeing the protesters’ first amendment rights. But when those two goals clash…” [2]

Nuxia continues reading her book while Lynga watches the latest news of the Occupy movement. “Ding!” A sweet sound interrupts Bloomberg’s speech and marks the finishing of the baking.

Nuxia: “I hope it looks good, because it doesn’t smell good.”

Lynga: “You don’t have to say everything aloud.”

Nuxia grins. She seems to like Lynga’s reaction.

Lynga puts on a pair of thick kitchen gloves and takes out from the oven what appears to be a scattered mixture of melted food and burnt juice.

Nuxia cheerfully stabs the pie with a fork, a curious look on her face.

Nuxia: “I have faith in you Lynga. I’m sure you’ll amuse me with every baked good you make.”

Lynga: “What did I miss?”

A disappointed Lynga sighs, taking off her gloves and turning down the TV volume.

Nuxia: “Something to hold it together? You want to try following the recipe?”

Lynga: “I was already following the recipe…”

Nuxia: “You know what this reminds me? I’ve always wondered what the occupiers are asking for. It seems as if there is not one thing that holds everyone together, just like this pie.”

Lynga: “Oh, of course there is something, such as umm… ending capital punishment, wealth inequality, corporate censorship, and political corruption…” [3]

Nuxia: “You do know the consequence of a child asking for five different candies, ten different ice creams and a dozen different toys, don’t you?”

Lynga: “I hear you, but look, if you were to do such a protest, what is the one demand you’d want to make?”

Nuxia: “The truth is, I’m not protesting.”

Lynga: “Hypothetically. I know you love this word.”

Lynga sees a grin on Nuxia’s face.

Nuxia: “Hypothetically. Good. Tell me what they want first.”

Lynga: “I guess a lot of things. Let’s see, as I just mentioned, wealth inequality is probably the most important. And then there is political corruption. Let’s start with these two.”

Nuxia is about half listening at most. She picks up a piece of the pie, if it can be called a “piece,” and puts it into her mouth. She seems to be enjoying it though. There is a burnt piece of apple here and there, but it doesn’t taste too bad.

Lynga: “Are you listening?”

Nuxia sighs: “Now tell me a solution that you or the occupiers have come up with to these demands.”

Lynga: “Oh there is one: shut down Wall Street.” [4]

Nuxia: “Wall Street, you mean symbolically?”

Nuxia grins a bit harder, and Lynga senses something is wrong.

Lynga: “Um, yeah. How about that?”

Nuxia: “Look…”

Nuxia shrugs and explains while waving her hand in the air with the pattern of a random walk.

Nuxia: “The top 1% own over 70% of America’s financial assets. Shutting down Wall Street means reforming 70% of America’s wealth.”

Lynga: “Are you saying it’s not possible?”

Nuxia: “No honey. I’m saying it’s asking for too much.”

Act III: A Pie for Whom?

Nuxia and Lynga come back from dinner and turn on the lights. Nuxia carries two supermarket bags and Lynga holds a Ben & Jerry ice cream box. On the box is a picture of Jimmy Fallon, along with the words “Late Night Snack”.

Nuxia: “Jimmy Fallon, really? I know chocolate is your favorite, but do you really buy every chocolate related flavor?”

Lynga: “Yes, I do! That’s why I’m super excited for the upcoming taste of ‘choccupy’. [5]”

Nuxia and Lynga enter the kitchen. The TV is off. The table is a mess. The smell of a sweet burnt apple pie permeates the air.

Nuxia: “Psst… I think I hear something.”

Lynga also hears the noise, yet she remains calm and busy with her ice cream.

Nuxia and Lynga grab a broom and a newspaper from the living room and approach the kitchen – where the noise is coming from.

Their eyes fall upon a messy floor full of paper sheets and crumbs of food, then a messy table full of left-over food and half of the pie that Lynga baked this morning, and eventually a rat standing on top of that pie, attracted here by the sugar-enhanced flavor of the Occu-Pie.

Lynga: “Nuxia, hit it!”

Nuxia: “Why me?”

Lynga: “Do you expect my newspaper to work better than your broom?”

Nuxia sighs, but swings her broom before long. The broom falls on top of the rat and scares it away, while also smashing apart the already ruined pie. Nuxia immediately hands the broom to Lynga and leaves the cleaning job behind. Nuxia speaks as she approaches the sink to wash her hands.

Nuxia: “It bothers me, Lynga.”

Lynga: “What?”

Nuxia: “Why would Ben & Jerry support the Occupy movement? Aren’t Ben and Jerry part of the one percent?”

Lynga: “That I’m not sure. I always loved the two guys and their ice creams you know. Ben and Jerry are decent people too.”

Nuxia: “My real question is: which of the movement’s demands do they support? They have one demand I take it, but they have many sub-demands. Scientifically speaking, the more demands the movement has, the higher chance a portion of these demands will conflict with the those of some other party.”

Lynga: “Look, Nuxia, sometimes … you just have to come out of your ivory tower, and look at the real world.”

Nuxia: “All I see is …”

Nuxia pauses and turns to the smashed apple pie that Lynga is trying to clean from the table top.

Nuxia: “You and I and the rat all wanted a piece of that pie, and likewise many parties are involved in the Occupy movement, protesters, Ben & Jerry, Michael Bloomberg, musicians and artists, the media… everyone wants something out of this movement. Each person involved wants their demands or needs satisfied.”

Nuxia moves her finger in the scattered pie thoughtfully.

Nuxia: “So, will, or can anyone care about what others want?”

Lynga shrugs as she cleans up the last piece of the pie. She then starts making coffee and getting ready to work on her upcoming comic book. Before she enters her bedroom and art room, Lynga turns to Nuxia curiously.

Lynga: “Hey! Doesn’t your boyfriend work on Wall Street? Is his work affected severely?”

Nuxia: “Not at all. Most finance companies don’t operate on Wall Street anymore these days.”

Lynga: “So what does he think of the movement?”

Nuxia: “Meh…”

Nuxia shrugs.

Epilogue: The Pie That Remains

Nuxia steps on something sticky. It takes a while to figure out what has got stuck on her high heel. It is a small crumb of the Occu-Pie that Lynga made a few days ago.

It has been a few days, and yet the smell of the Occu-Pie still permeates the kitchen.

Nuxia tries in vain to remove the crumb from her shoe. Soon she gives up. It’s just a little crumb anyway.

There are, however, thousands of such crumbs scattered in the kitchen, and sometimes they get on the occupants’ shoes unnoticed.

Even a ruined pie sticks around, no matter how it looked, how it smelled, and how it tasted.

Nuxia & Lynga

[1] According to US Census, the number of doctorate degree holders of 18 years or older as of 2011 is three million and seventy-nine thousand, whereas the resident population as of January 2012 is 312 million.

[2] This is part of the response of NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s statement regarding the actions taken to wipe Zuccotti Park of Occupy protesters on November 15, 2011.

[3] A page summarizing Occupy Wall Street’s one demand.

[4] Shutting down Wall Street is the one demand summarized on the Occupy Wall Street website on September 27.

[5] In a CNN report on Ben & Jerry’s support of Occupy Wall Street, Ben joked about “choccupy” as their new flavor.



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